Smith Brothers 1978

$250.000 is appropriated for reroofing the Lodge. The project doesn’t begin until the summer of 1981.

February 11
The Crater Lake Wilderness/Cross Country Ski Race is resurrected after a lapse of 40 years.

Gary Dilesky of Hillsboro, Oregon wins the 14 (or it could be 16 mile), “B” ski race in one hour and 54 minutes.

David Beck of Klamath Falls wins the “C” ski race in one hour and 48 minutes.

73 year-old Pete Hedberg, winner of the 32 mile, 1933 Crater Lake – Fort Klamath Ski Race, skis the 14 miles on his old-fashioned cumbersome wooden skis.

Mr. E. Nordeen, 88 years old and former winner, visits the ski race and tells stories about his skiing adventures. (See 1929 entry)

February 20
The Fulton’s mail delivery suburban flips over on the South Road.

March 29
Six rangers lower the Park’s inflatable rescue raft over the Rim and into the Lake for a practice exercise. The first record of winter boating on the Lake.

March 31
The NPS reports that the new Annie Spring water system has cost $452,596. A total of 1,617 tort claims have been submitted against the Park due to illness caused by the sewer overflow. The loss has totaled $398,614, with several claims still pending. The only lawsuit filed against the government has been filed by the Crater Lake Lodge Company to edemnify them against future claims.

May 21
Hank Tanski, new Assistant Chief of Interpretation, EOD’s. Hank holds the position for 10 years before transferring to John Day NM. (and retiring from the NPS in 1997)

Precipitation for the water year: 55.58 inches.

Freddy (possibly Freda) the red fox takes up residence along the Rim Village Rock Wall. He/she makes a living off of numerous Golden Mantle Ground Squirrels. The sight of G.M.G.S. tails and feet sticking out of the fox’s mouth sickens many Park visitors.

Rangers Marion Jack and Vic Affolter hear something large crashing through the forest at the old PCT entrance on the West Road. A pine cone is tossed through the air and the strong odor emanating from whatever it was is over powering.

Assault by a Forest Service employee on Rangers Hershel Henderly and Jim Donovan at Rim Village. The visitor’s vehicle was chased by several armed rangers to the West Road, where the subject was subdued and arrested with force. The subject was released the next day by the courts and given a light misdemeanor sentence and small fine.

July and August And during the 1979 season
Dr. Doug Larson, using 350 water samples, identifies 99 species of Lake algae. Most are rare, with only 6 or 7 species being predominate. Obtains a Secchi Disc reading of only 67 feet, or about half the clarity distance measured in 1969.

July 14
A Park visitor runs up and down Wizard Island in 18 minutes after forgetting his tripod at the top. The tour boat was waiting for him.

July 24 to September 21
A large lightning storm sets several fires in the Park and surrounding area. Two of the fires are allowed to burn. The Sun Creek fire burns 1.5 acres. The Crater Peak-Goodbye Fire eventually burns 540 acres and kills 10% of the mature trees in the path of the flames. Basically the fire is a ground fire, so much brush and accumulated fuels are burned out. Large animals, such as elk are soon seen in the area as the flames cool down. The fire was named “Goodbye” as it was now good-bye to the old fire management plan of attacking and putting out every forest fire. Depending on where the fire is in the Park, its cause and season of the year, some fires will be allowed to burn themselves out naturally. Since the Goodbye fire was within sight of visitors entering the Park from the South, a large sign was placed on the road saying, “Natural Fire, Do not report.” Rangers were also stationed along the road to explain to visitors the reasons for allowing a naturally caused fire to burn.