Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories
Shirleen Madden, 1959-1963
1959 – We were fire lookouts on Mt. Scott, which was 2 ½ miles up to the top from where we parked the car. There were seven switchbacks to reach that little glass house. Park people helped pack us in – food, water, etc…, and we had to climb over snow banks.
The first time I opened a jar of instant coffee, we had coffee all over the place.
One fellow on a lookout outside the Park would call and ask cooking questions.
I was alone, looked out and saw SMOKE! I felt responsible for the whole Park. Someone at Headquarters told me that it was smoke from the dump. No one had told us about that.
I was afraid that I would encounter a bear on the trail. The first time I started out alone I saw something tall and light brown at the end of the first switchback. I thought for sure it was a bear, but it was just a tree stump.
I got to ride on the boat on the Lake many times. I’d go down to the boat ramp and if there was room, they would let me ride.
We didn’t have many visitors on Mt. Scott, and most of them were from other countries.
1960 – Our daughter was born in June and we stayed in Arizona.
1961 and 1962 – Milt worked on the gate at the south entrance. We lived in a trailer by Annie Springs Campground. We loved to drink the cold water at Annie Springs. We would lie on our stomachs and get water in our hands to drink. It was also fun to watch a big marmot sitting on a big rock in the sun. We liked to drive down to Union Creek to have huckleberry pie at Beckys.
1963 – Milt was in charge of the Lost Creek Campground down by the pinnacles. We lived in a trailer. Milt also patrolled a few miles of the rim road every day. We were snowed in the day after we moved there so I could not drive into Headquarters to wash our clothes.
Our daughter was three years old in June, and the people in Arizona didn’t know we were expecting another baby in November. We named our by Scott!
The wife of the Park Superintendent always had an afternoon party once during the summer for al of the women who worked in the Park. It was our “dress up time”.
We met a lot of friendly, and interesting people at Crater Lake and remain in contact with some of them.
We traveled from Arizona those four summers, and moved to Oregon in 1968.