Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories
Vic Affolter, 1962-1978
My strongest memories of Crater Lake are of the friendships and strong bond of community forged among those of us who were privileged to work at that special place, some for many seasons.
I began my 16-season tenure in 1962, living in the Ranger dorm (now the Steele Center) and eating in the Mess Hall (now the Canfield Building), and later lived in a small cabin (now demolished) in Sleepy Hollow. Those quarters were rustic and intimate, encouraging much comradery among residents. A lot has been gained in comfort by recent improvements, but some things have been lost as well.
My duties as patrol ranger and personal recreation took my around Crater Lake more than 500 times, including a dozen on bicycle and a half marathon that provided an exhaustive sense of scale. On every circuit I experienced different facets which have been assembled into a composite impressive of this unique jewel that have been captured only in fragments by photographs and paintings.
Each of us who worked and played at Crater Lake is part of the unique family who members are privileged to have shared that experience. Twenty-four years have passed since my last working summer at Crater Lake, but the memories are as fresh as yesterday. My annual visits, always including hiking or skiing, help replenish my enduring connection to that special place and those who have resided there.