More About Hezekiah Malone

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About a week ago I received an email from someone named Jo Davidson who asked whether I had a larger picture of Hezekiah Malone’s wedding picture. Who could this be?

Malone Brothers pic

Malone brothers

We began to communicate. Jo Davidson is the great-great granddaughter of John Walter Malone, one of Hezekiah’s younger brothers. Since I am a great granddaughter of Hezekiah I knew she had to be quite a bit younger than I am. Jo Davidson is putting together a book about her ancestors and has done a lot of research. We ended up sharing information and photographs. She also sent a picture of herself and yes, she’s a lot younger than I am!

I thought the picture she was referring to was not a wedding picture, although Hezekiah and his wife, Emma, were dressed up. I was more inclined to think they were dressed for a formal photograph or for some special occasion since they were both quite young when marred and this appeared to be them in middle-age perhaps. Hezekiah was my mother’s grMr. & Mrs. H. P. Malone in Dunedin, Floridaandfather and I’ve written about him in a couple of previous blogs.

My mother had actually met Jo Davidson’s great-great- grandfather and had written a description of her memory of him in some writing she did about the family history for my brothers and me. I was pleased to be able to send that to Jo. Of all the brothers she could have met I’m glad it was Jo’s great-great- grandfather whom she met and wrote about. What are the odds? One in six I guess.

I’m not sure what to do with all the photos she has sent, but I will try to save at least the ones that directly relate to Hezekiah and his family since my grandmother, on my mother’s side, was his daughter. Hezekiah Pennington Malone had seven brothers and one sister. He and Emma Hart Malone had three children, my grandmother and her two brothers.

Mr. & Mrs. H. P. MaloneI’m going to share some of the pictures she sent and any additional information that may relate to my two previous blogs about that part of the family. With all those children there are too many for me to consider tracking them and/or their descendants, but some of the relatives are trying to do this. It’s a bit like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle I think, finding pieces that fit together to make the whole.

H.P. Malone & granddaughter Mary Whitfield.-1911JPG

H.P. Malone and granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth

It’s too bad my mother isn’t still alive to see how people are able to do research and to communicate with each other via the computer. I know she did some sleuthing on my father’s side of the family but mostly by exchanging snail-mail letters with a few relatives who were still alive. But to be able to compare notes so quickly and to see photographs would have been like magic for her. She always felt guilty at having taken the family bible to school and losing it because so many births, deaths and weddings had been recorded in it. The hand-written notes can never be replaced but her sadness would be much alleviated by learning that the information is readily available online for those who want to commit the time and effort. And there is even a library in Dunedin, Florida that has a section devoted to those ancestors. And there is a college named after the Malones. She would be so pleased.

First Paid Publication

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It’s amazing what could make the news back then. This appeared in the Women’s Activities section of the Redding Record-Searchlight, February 3, 1954, page 6. I remember being quite excited about it. I think American Girl magazine paid me $5.

‘The magazine is published for all girls by the Girl Scouts of America and reaches more than half a million subscribers monthly.’ (I see a publication on line for a magazine by the same name but it is for girls 8-12 and doesn’t appear to be part of Girl Scouts.)

‘Susanne is a sophomore at the Dunsmuir Joint Union High School. Following is her prize winning essay which is entitled, “A Great Accomplishment.”‘

new clip 1954

“A very surprising thing happened to me the other day. I got out of bed within twenty minutes. The way I accomplished this amazing feat was this. First, I rolled over on my back and gazed out the window with half-closed eyes. Next, I yawned prodigiously. Then I closed my eyes again so they wouldn’t be strained by the bright light. With my eyes still closed I slowly wiggled my toes to see if my feet were still asleep. Finding they weren’t I drew my feet up until my knees were making a hump under the covers. This done, paused and rested for ten minutes after such exertion.

Being careful not to strain myself I got my feet and legs out of the bedcovers and completely relaxed for five minutes on my back, as all good hikers and people who exercise know is the best way to relax. Finally, with extra help from a pillow thrown by my brother, I sat up and laboriously dropped my legs over the side of the bed. This accomplished, got up exhausted and staggered in to wash my face.

Patent for this method applied for U.S. Pat. Off.”

Teenage Memory

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Mt. Shasta from trail to dome 1975 copy

Looking north from Castle Crags, up the Sacramento R. valley.

Going back through old photo albums often leads to going back through memories. I’d almost forgotten about the newspaper columns I’d written in 1955, during the summer before my senior year at Dunsmuir High School. Dunsmuir was a railroad/logging community perched in the upper Sacramento River canyon. This was before winding and narrow Highway 99 was replaced by the I-5 Freeway, a creation that made travel easier but changed the character of many towns along its path. During the 1950s a roundhouse along the river was still used to turn engines around and steam engines gradually gave way to diesels. Today, although bisected by the freeway, Dunsmuir still retains much of its small town charm.

When I graduated in 1956 there were about 250 students in the high school, 38 in my graduating class. Living six miles south of town, and with one car in the family, it was difficult for me to find any kind of work. Our closest community, with post office and a couple of grocery stores, was Castella, about a mile away, where two of my brothers and I attended elementary school. I think Castella’s population then was about 200 and many residents had lived there for a number of years so were almost like an extended family to each other.

Thanks to the support of the editor of the weekly Dunsmuir News (I think his name was Chapman Wentworth), and I’m sure my father– then chief ranger at Castle Crags State Park where we lived– I was able to practice overcoming my shyness and learning to introduce myself to total strangers, do a little writing and be published now and then in the local newspaper. I have copies of several different short columns. For the editor I suppose it was good Chamber of Commerce publicity for what the area had to offer visitors.

I would walk up to the camp or picnic site, introduce myself and tell them my purpose, and, if they were willing, write down names, towns, and what they were doing at the park. Sometimes I think the editor would send them a copy of the paper if they wanted it. There are even a couple of pictures that I took.

For me, who had never really travelled much, it was also interesting to learn about the distance some had traveled and what state or country they had come from. Some of the campers stayed as long as two weeks.

The first article is about Memorial Day weekend. “The Castle Crags State Park, just south of Dunsmuir, swarmed with picnickers and campers over the Memorial Day weekend. Some 41 carloads of campers fanned into the woods, stoked up the handy wood stoves provided at each campsite, and soon had the air deliciously perfumed with frying fish, hamburgers and the other whiffs of outdoor cookery.

They fished, hiked, climbed, or just lay in the sun or shade and snoozed.

Picnickers from Dunsmuir and other southern Siskiyou towns filled all the picnic tables, and kids, big and little trooped through the woods, swam in the iced-cold water, or played games in the cleared areas.” Usually there was a brief introductory paragraph and then the names, what they were doing and occupations. At that time many women were stay-at-home moms so often it was just the men’s occupations that got listed.

The occupations are interesting though: Mrs. Morrison is a chemist and Morrison a geochemist (these two were from Eugene, Oregon and another one in their party Nash, was attending law school at the UO); a paper box salesman, a carpenter, an elementary school teacher, an artist for an advertising agency, an assistant shipping master for the American President Lines in San Francisco, a sawyer in a cedar shingle industry, a barber, chief chemist for Spreckels Sugar Company, head custodian in a school district.

newspaper article 1955

Fisherman near footbridge. (My first name needs an s instead o z ).

More occupations: a high school counselor, a doctor of chemistry at UC Davis, an ironworker, a commercial artist for General Electric, television set repairs and service, machine shop, insurance salesman, Solar Aircraft, McClellan Air Force Base, a post office clerk, an operator for the Cinerama in San Francisco, an attorney, a worker at the Mare Island Navy shipyard.

“The Wednesday Breakfast Club held its weekly meeting at Castle Crags State Park two weeks ago. The members have been coming down from Dunsmuir for three years. All of the members, who have been friends for 40 years, arrived at 8 a.m., ate breakfast and played canasta. “ There is a photo I took and a list of the names.

I remember two of these families who came nearly every year because my parents became friends of theirs, the Cinkes and the Tourys. I think they were related. Mrs. Toury was an expert at Hungarian cooking and taught my mother to make some wonderful pastries. It was their daughter, Shari, whom my father rescued when she was a toddler after she fell into, and was floating down, the Sacramento River near the campground.

“A bearded man and his wife, riding a motorcycle, attracted attention yesterday. They came roaring into the park entrance, rode up Kettlebelly Hill, and took some photographs with his new Polaroid camera. Said the man with the beard (about his beard), “I just let nature take its course …and besides, I’m mad at the barbers.” When teased about the long, curly growth being used as a windshield for his motorcycle (I’m sure by my dad), he said “Well, sometimes bugs get in there and they’re kind of hard to get out.”

And how about this one? This couple was from Berkeley. “Mr. Knudsen made the last splice on the transcontinental telephone line running from San Francisco to New York, June 17, 1914. In 1915 President Wilson opened the World’s Fair in San Francisco using that line. Knudsen, who was in charge of stringing the line through Nevada, was given the honor of representing the West, and so made the last splice. He had just retired from 40 years with PT & T.”

An interesting time.

Beads, Birds and Christmas Trees

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Christmas tree copy

Last year’s tree

Decorating the Christmas tree is not just putting decorations on the branches. The beads are not just beads. Well, some are. But the important ones are the blue glass beads that were my mother’s and her mother’s before that—real glass and fragile. The others are nice, but can be readily purchased and are plastic made to look like glass. And the blue glass beads are the memory
close-up #2 of my mother putting them on our tree when I was growing up. And the memory of my putting them on our tree when my children were growing up. Sometimes the old thread holding them in the string would break and our mother would carefully tie it back together. It’s a spliced thread of life that I am continuing.
closeupof decorations

And the glass birds? Those also were my mother’s and her mother’s. And they are extra fragile. This year only one of them still has the white tail feathers. I’m not sure what they are made of but they have a tendency to fall out and get lost. Evidence of past attempts to retain them show in the dried glue around the openings. When I was growing up each of my three brothers and I claimed one of these birds as 100_6491OUR bird. A few years ago I gave the red one to my brother, Peter, because I remembered that one had been his. He remembered that too. I’d have given my two other brothers their birds but I can’t remember which ones belonged to whom, not even my own. Just the red one that was Peter’s.

And then therealligator is the alligator. I have no idea how that came to be one of our childhood tree decorations but it was. It’s green, with springs holding each leg, and on the tree it jiggles about if touched. Very fond memories of the alligator. I probably ended up with the Christmas tree decorations because our mother lived her last years nearby. I’d select a few decorations to put on her tiny tree in the assisted living studio apartment though never certain, as time went on, that she could actually see them because of macular degeneration. She seemed to appreciate my effort.

During my youth, on Christmas Eve, after the stockings were hung, we’d sing Christmas carols, accompanied by our dad on his accordion. Usually there would be walnuts, in the shell, an orange and some small presents filling the stockings in the morning. We didn’t have a lot of presents under the tree but it alwaylittle houses seemed like a lot to us.It was c100_6495ertainly enough for those years.

For my own family, along with the usual glass balls, I began to purchase decorations from a catalog that had items from other countries: bearded elves; delicate angels; a tiny baby with a red and white blanket in a half-walnut shell; flat tin soldiers about six inches high; a small set of brass instruments; glass icicles (ten I believe, and now there are seven). I think they were from Santa though –elves must be international. As the children grew, and began to help with the tree trimming, some of their homemade creations began to adorn the branches.

Putting decorations on the tree isn’t just something to be done. Not for me at any rate. Some100_6496times I like to have music playing, sometimes not. But, at my current age, it’s not a time for chatting or distractions. In some ways it’s a ritual, a meditation, a measure of the passage of time, bringing memories of my growth from childhood to being a parent, and now a grandparent–one year after the next, beads on the string of time.

Surprising Day

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school  Some days are a surprise and today was one of those. A couple of days ago I saw a notice posted on Facebook by a friend (to whom I was introduced by my daughter almost 6 years ago when we shared a ride to my granddaughter’s baby shower) about an event that was to take place today a few miles from where we live. I suggested to my husband this might be a fun thing to do today.

out back window of store

View out back window of store

We had never been to the location before—Camas Country Store—and the event was a pie making contest. So off we went and were soon driving out through farm country and up a narrow road about half a mile where we came to the little store and an old schoolhouse. It turns out that the store sells locally milled flour products (their mill is located southeast of the store and we hope to visit at some point) and that the nearby school, the object of the fundraising contest, is an 1888 building that used to be located a mile-and-a-half away, in Alvadore. What a treasure!

The school is one room and has a belfry. It’s rescuers hauled the building to this location, rebuilt parts of it due to structural needs; used some of the exterior wood on the inside as part of that refurbishment; and put some inside the little country store as part of the walls. There are epie ala modeven signatures from students of long ago on some of the boards in the school.

Today, inside the school, there was a long table covered with homemade pies; a table with coffee, hot water and cold water for beverages; and numerous tables and chairs for visitors to sit down to eat pie and ice cream. There were six choices for dropping raffle tickets in jars to win some of the store products, a dollar a ticket or five for $5. Standing on a small stagmusice were a couple playing a guitar and banjo, and occasionally singing. The pie contest had occurred earlier in the day.

We purchased pie (ice cream was free) and a cup of coffee each, sat down and ate, and visited with a couple across the table. We knew no one but obviously many of the guests knew each other.

witches #2After we’d finished and had just stood up, a coven of witches came in the front door and gathered on and in front of the stage. As their boom box played they began to dance, sparkling belts glistening, brooms sweeping, only to change and lift the brooms in front of them and up with both hands, gyrating. The costumes were marvelous and the choreography terrific. What a witchestreat! They performed once more outside so people could witches #4take better videos.
I asked them for a name and was also told they had a website.

A little later as I went into the store to try to find out the history of the schoolhouse
a womawitches #3n made eye contact and said something to me, using my name. I said, “I know you” about the same time as she said her name. It was Jeri Linn, who had posted the notice on Facebook. So here we were giving each other a hug after almost six years of seeing each other only on Facebook since that shared trip. I introduced my husband and we chatted for 15 minutes or so before leaving. We agreed to meet at a future date for coffee. A fun day, indeed.

Mt. Tabor

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Last weekend my daughter and grandson and I took a short hike on Mt. Tabor in Southeast Portland. The 190-acre park is an extinct volcanic cinder cone that rises about 400 feet above the surrounding area for an elevation of 636 feet. The name refers to Reb & ML on Mt. TaborMt. Tabor in Israel.

Several reservoirs, originally established to supply water to the city, are important features of thon Mt. Tabore park. A little one up on top is covered but the Bigleaf mapleothers form small lakes on the slopes of the mountain. The first reservoir was built in 1894 and two others in 1911. The water comesRebecca & Malcolm from the Bull Run River watershed, 25 miles away.



Three trails—color-coded with red, green and blue– wind around the hillsides, the longest being three miles. We parked in a crowded more yellowparking lot near the reservoir that has a turret type tower on one edge. I told my grandson that it looks like a giant chess piece, a rook or castle.

It was a beautiful fall day and many people were out enjoying the sunshine and autumn colors. Yellow was the dominant foliage, mostly big-leaf maples. The contrast of the deciduous trees with the Douglas firs lit up the forest. My grandson and I spent some time trying to toss dry, winged maple seeds into the air and watching them twirl, helicopter fashionyellow, to the ground. He wanted to see them on the trees but most had fallen. Finally I found a cluster of seeds still on a tree and we could see that they are paired together, each set looking a bit like a moth with wings.

When we reached the summit we could see across Portland to the west. I took some pictures of a statue at the top, a bronze casting of Harvey Scott, editor of the Oregonian newspaper from 1865-1872 and from 1877 unstatue on Mt. Tabortil his death in 1910. The sculpting is by Gutzon Borglum and was done while he was working on Mt. Rushmore. It was cast by Kunst Foundry in New York.

The park is closed to motor vehicles all day on Wednesdays and from 10 pm to 5 a.m. the rest of the week.from top

The Confluence

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Black Walnut       A few months ago this tour was scheduled but then cancelled due to smoke conditions so today I was eager to go even though it was raining. We were a small group, seven plus three representatives of The Nature Conservancy. The gathering place was in front of Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah’s native plant farm.

confluence walkI came well prepared for the weather with down vest, rain jacket, poncho, rubber boots, and rain hat. Then, of course there was my daypack that goes everywhere with me and a fanny pack with small camera. It’s been my experience that trips designed to inform are usually fairly slow paced and I wanted to stay warm and dry while learning.

Our destination was the old gravel ponds along the Willamette River on the east end of Mt. Pisgah (Howard Buford Park), a 2,300-acre regional park. The land here is embraced more black walnutsby two branches of the Willamette– the Middle Fork and the Coast Fork– and the area has provided gravel for everything from cement to roads for many years. Because of the location there has been local support for trying to purchase land here and to rehabilitate it in conjunction with the park. Certainly within my time since moving to the Willamette Valley I’ve been aware of those seeing its potential and that was over 20 years ago.

Eventually the land owners were willing to consider an agreement and today the land is under the jurisdiction of The Nature Conservancy but it took the work of a number of agencies, as well as the owners, to bring it this far. And our group was going to see whTNC docent, Johnat is being done. The only way to access the property now is by going on a tour although the long-range goal is public access of some sort.

Years ago much of Buford Park, known mostly for its 1,516- foot Mt. Pisgah and including the non-profit Arboretum along its western edge, was orchards and farmland. Today I learned that part of the farms included hops and that Native Americans used to come and camp nearby to heroad betrween kpondslp with the hop harvest. Other crops included apple and walnut orchards. As we walked along one old road we enjoyed the bright yellow laciness of the leaves of black walnut trees.

Our docent carried a map that showed the gravel ponds as large rectangles, one nearly a mile long, and we were able to see, in person, how they havMiddle Fk. Willamettee been changed. In order to extract gravel along the river a dike would be built and the river moved out of the way. This spot was a prime example. We saw the river rushing by between rocks built up on the far side and a wall of rock on this side. The pond is no longer a rectangle but rounded with sloped sides, and a shallow area in the middle actually marks where the edge of the river used to be.

We were told that the contractors who are re-configuring the ponds are able to make changes in elevation down to one-tenth of an inch—they are artists with their dozers. The goal is to hagravel pit #1ve benches built up to various levels so that when the river floods, water passing through here will be good for the plants and wildlife, including fish, that will depend upon the protection of this side channel for survival. Another docent, Melissa (actually an employee of TNC), explained that her charge is the planting of native species and she said they know what it takes for the various plants, from sedges to cottonwoods and willows, to thrive. Clusters of small logs and debris are anchored at strategic places in the ponds to act as resting places for turtles that will be nesting on some of the rehabilitated flats along the banks. For instance, western pond turtles nest in grassy areas along ponds but their young need to get to water to be safe.

We hiked for somewhere close to three miles round trip. I hiked most of the return trip with Gardiner, Volunteer Program Specialist with TNC. Afterwards, as I sat in my car drinking from a thermos of hot tea, I realized that when there is a tour to another part of this area, I wmostly pumpkinsant to go. On my way home I stopped at a farm stand (Me and Moore) to pick up some of what is probably the last of the corn and squash and to admire the pumpkins. I purchased pumpkins at a different farm this year but love looking at their display.

We Tried To Do It All

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To live in a rustic log cabin four miles from the nearest neighbor
at the end of a road we had to maintain ourselves.
It is one of theranch for poem copy loveliest spots in the county
outside of the Wilderness.
We spent our 2-week honeymoon there, and then
the rest of the summer putting cedar shingles
on the steep roof of the 2-story dwelling.
I’d haul the shingles up to him, up the narrow stairs
that showed the worn marks of previous owners,
when access was only by trail,
then climb out the window and up a ladder to where
he perched.
The view on three sides was meadow and forest
and to the south, across the river,
a tall, rounded mountain with a fire lookout at its peak.

And he commuted to work every day.
Twenty minutes on our road and half an hour on the
highway that paralleled the winding river.
I got a job teaching in a one-room school
in the little village about two miles away.
Once when the truck lost its brakes I walked
as fast as I could to the highway where
a Forest Service parent saw me and gave me a ride.
The first winter we tried to stay, our log bridge washed out
as did highway bridges.
Our first child was born that June.
He climbed trees to string a number-nine-wire phone line after
I spent the summer there with our toddler with no communication.

We planted a lawn and a garden.
I made applesauce from the trees in the old orchard.
When the mice chewed the wires on the generator
we used kerosene lamps.
We put a shower stall on the north porch
and eventually the septic tank was dug,
the outhouse came down,
the shower moved upstairs and there was
a flush toilet.
We lived there during the summer and many weekends
as two more children arrived.
For a couple of summers I used a gas washing machine
started with a pedal, like a motorcycle.
Then the electric machine from town got moved each summer.

Water came from a spring at the head of the meadow
and we used a bathtub for a settling tank to filter
some of the sand and tree debris.
Bears tried to dig up the PVC line. Maybe they thought the sound
of the water beneath the ground was bees.
They loved the apples and left great piles of dung.
We kept a sprinkler on the roof to keep the shingles wet
in case of fire.
Our heat came from a large wood-burning heater downstairs
as well as the old Monarch cook stove.
There was a gas refrigerator and a two burner gas stove.

He designed and built a bridge that would be able to withstand the
fall of a large Douglas fir from the cliff above, if it fell.
A bridge that wouldn’t wash out the way our log bridges did.
He cleared logs from the creek with an old military truck
that had a winch and taught our young daughter to shift the gears
while he wrapped a choker around a log.
A John Deere tractor was his tool for general road maintenance
but washouts required hiring someone with a big cat.
That road wanted to be a trail.

I have photos of the big English walnut in the orchard,
golden in the autumn,
and of fog filling the canyon below us;
of deer on the lawn while a child in diapers watches;
of ponderosa pines growing in the forest around the meadow
and madrones blooming sweetly in the spring;
of the old barn near the bend in the road;
of weathered boards on the south end of the house,
a rich wine color from years of sun;
of rusty hinges and old farming equipment;
of family posed for a Christmas photo.

But we weren’t able to do it all.

Revisiting Crater Lake, Conclusion

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Mt. Bailey from bike path.

After our long day with Ride the Rim volunteering, we had a quick dinner—salad, soup and some good bread. Included in the soup were some green beans from our garden. We went to bed shortly afterwards, really tired.

Sunday, after breakfast (and this time there was coffee!), Tom took our bikes off the back of the trailer and we were ready to try some riding on the paved path around Diamond Lake. Last year we both rode quite a bit but neither of us has ridden much since then. The total loop is around 11 miles. We took snacks and something to drink and headed out.

I’d had my bike worked on before we left but Tom had some trouble with his so we decided to just take it easy and not ride far. The trail is easily accessed below the RV place, just across the highway. Because of the fire danger a lot of trees along the highways, and actually along the bike path, have been pruned and many trees thinned, with stacks of cut branches alongside. There are campgrounds and day-use areas along the lake and I’m sure this is one of the reasons for the brushing and cutting. The trail passed alongside a camping area and at the first parking lot a man was sitting with a clipboard. A sign nearby said Survey Ahead. Tom stopped to talk to him for a few minutes while I went ahead. I planned to take a few pictures of the lake and of Mt. Bailey.

Later Tom told me the survey person was from Germany and he said he was trying to get information they could use in German parks. He was impressed by how much open space we have. He was asking people things like what drew them to the area. Tom thought it was part of his studies at a university.


South Meadow

At one point I stopped, parked my bike, and walked through some knee-high blueberry bushes to get to the edge of the large green meadow that extended for some distance along the path. (This meadow was grazed by sheep in the 1930s) I wanted to get green meadow and Mt. Bailey. I’d just reached the grass when I thought I heard Tom coming and began to back up so I could see him. Suddenly I realized there was a hollow space where my foot was going and I staggered backward—would have made a great video I’m sure as I finally landed on my back in some blueberry bushes…..and some water. Had to laugh out loud at myself—no injuries, just hadn’t realized there was water hidden by those bushes and was wet from foot to shoulder along my right side. My daypack helped provide some padding too. Stood up, carefully took the picture (I’d held the camera up),right and walked back to my bike.


Teal Lake & Mt. Baileyi

I rode ahead a short distance and then back to meet Tom, suggesting to him that we explore a couple of small lakes that we hadn’t noticed before. Actually they were more like large ponds. We parked our bikes and admired Teal Lake, then walked a quarter of a mile past Teal Lake to Horse Lake, which involved crossing a paved road. Horse Lake was even shallower than Teal Lake and supported a lot of water lily plants. On the way back I got a nice picture of Mt. Bailey with Teal Lake in the foreground.

From there we rode the rest of the way to Silent Creek, a fairly large stream with an arched bridge over it. The creek is about 20 feet across and the quietest stream of that size I’ve ever seen! It was here last year that we accidentally went two different directions. Tom had bOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeen ahead and gone left. I’d opted to go over the bridge to the right. We didn’t meet again until a couple of hours later when we arrived at our trailer site an hour apart. Needless to say we were together OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhenever the trail branched this time!

We crossed the bridge and found a place to sit on a log in the shade. The day had gotten quite warm. We saw a brown creeper, a very tiny bird, working its way up one of the hemlocks. Then Gray Jays (Camp Robbers) found us! I have no idea how they knew we were there. I’d seen three other bike riders cross the bridge earlier but that was it so no recent visitors had been there.

Those jays knew suckers when they saw them. I think there were four or five birds. Smart and sassy and wanting food and more food. Fortunately we’d eaten most of our snacks when they found us but, even so, I found myself digging in my daypack for any granola bars I might have overlooked. We usually don’t feed wildlife like chipmunks or golden-mantled OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAground squirreOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAls—knowing it’s not really good for them– but it was hard to resist. Tom even fed them a couple of berries from the bushes. They would take the food, disappear and then come back. We assumed they were storing it for future use. Eventually we ran out of food. Gray Jays are monogamous and stay together year ‘round. This was probably a family.


Mt. Thielsen

We rode about another half mile to where we could see Mt. Thielsen (9,183 ft.) across a large meadow and then headed back to our campsite. I took a shower; we relaxed in the shade with a drink; ate an early dinner; and went to bed reasonably early. So often we’re rushing around on a trip and it was nice to just sit for a while. The next day we headed for home, running into smoke near Dexter, east of Eugene.

It had been a good trip though somewhat different than what we’d expected.

Crater Lake Revisited, Part II

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Garfield Peak

Saturday morning we got up at 5 a.m., tossed cold pizza and apples in our small ice chest for lunch, and brought something to drink. We gulped breakfast, skipped coffee, put hot water in a thermos for hot tea and left for the park.

The road was open. We showed our pass to the ranger at the check station and headed for the Rim. At one point on Pumice Desert there was a dense cloud of smoke, as if some had gotten stuck in a low spot, but after that it was clear all the way. What a wonderful, smokeless day it turned out to be! We had a strong hint that there wouldn’t be a lot of bike riders though when we got to the North Junction and saw only the volunteers setting up the station. And there was almost no traffic OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAon the road. Part of the road, from North Junction to Rim Village, has been under construction for some time but the side toward the lake was mostly paved and the other packed gravel.

We were late arriving at Park Headquarters but, because of the low turnout, it wasn’t a problem. All the smoke from the forest fires meant a lot of people hesitated to come because they didn’t want to be exercising in the smoke. And Highway 138 was closed because of a fire. Plus, part of the Rim Drive was closed until the previous night. Those who took the chance, however, were quite pleased with themselves!


Tom & Bike Corral

It’s fun being involved as a volunteer and since we weren’t rushed with swarms of people there was a more of a chance to visit with participants as well as with our co-workers. Most of us were representing Friends of Crater Lake but others also volunteered and a ranger was there part of the time. We checked in those who had pre-registered and asked others to register. Since this is a free event it’s not a requirement but registration helps to track numbers and if there is a problem it’s good to be able to tell family whether or not someone checked in. This also provides an opportunity to ask whether or not the participant has done the ride before, provide information about the route, and answer questions.


Shuttle buses

There were all ages and all abilities attempting the ride. Many just wanted to do 24 miles and avoid the nine-mile stretch that included the part under construction and traffic. But a number of riders also did theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA whole 33 miles. I noticed one family, including a 7-year old boy, who completed the 24 miles. And some just biked what they could, as I did last year, happy just to participate. One good innovation provided is bike corrals, one at the North Junction and one at Park Headquarters. People could park their bike (receiving a ticket with the matching number to be attached to their bike) and take a shuttle bus if they needed to go get their car at the Rim. Then they could drive back down to get their bike. Tom ended up doing a lot of the corral work. Some even rode back up on the bus to get a meal or shop at Rim Village. We just made sure everyone knew that we closed down at six as did the shuttle service.


My room, far right, downstairs

When I worked here as a seasonal ranger-naturalist in 1961 and 1962, I came before the other seasonals arrived (the first year arriving in April when there were 10 feet of snow on the ground) and lived in a rustic cabin. Then, when the others came, I moved into the ranger dormitory. I had a room downstairs on the right side of the building. All the fellows were upstairs except for the two more mature ones who were also in my wing. Today the cabins are long gone, replaced by apartments. The dormitory is the Visitor Center. I found out my room is someone’s office. The mess hall is used for administrative purposes.

There used to be a one-room school in the old Administrative building where the park children went to school. One day a week they had ski lessons. A small rope tow, powered by a car engine (I think—memory may have it wrong) was available at the end of the road, past the cabins. To go to high school they had to go to Chiloquin. Today there are only two children in the park.

16 Degrees of Separation
After lunch I talked to one of the rangers about the fish in Munson Creek as he walked toward our booth. My husband asked him where he’d been before coming to Crater Lake and it turned OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAout it was Whiskeytown Lake, near Redding, California. Practically next door to Weaverville where I used to live. Well, that started quite a conversation. He knew Weaverville, he knew all the state parks in the district there—Joss House, Burney Falls, Castle Crags (where I grew up), Ides Adobe and Old Shasta. He knew there were fires burning there right now. And he knew about Canyon Creek. In fact, John said, he knew someone who lived up Canyon Creek. “Give me a last name,” I asked. “Corp, Noah”, he said. I told him I knew Noah’s parents, Connie and Dennis, from Weaverville. What’s the likelihood? I love things like this!


Visitor Center

Tom and I stayed a little after six waiting for a ranger to come and pick up the donation box (funds would be used to help with next year). The person in charge of our group had left much earlier to go around to help the other four stations shut down and load tables, chairs, leftovers, etc. into a truck. Four of us took down the tent, stacked food boxes for him to pick up when he returned much later, and gathered garbage bags, etc. for the rangers to deal with. A car drove up and a female ranger walked across toward us, smiling. It turned out she was someone I left a message for the last two years, as well as this year. Marsha was a graduate student working with my eldest brother at Penn State when he was a professor there. He had told me she worked here and asked that if I visited to be sure to say “hi”. He has been retired now for some time. Marsha is Chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources at Crater Lake and has been here nearly 20 years. So good to finally meet her and have a chance to chat for 15-20 minutes. If we hadn’t volunteered to wait for the donations to be picked up we’d not have met her.

When we drove along the Rim on our way out the lake had some smoke again so I didn’t take a picture.

To be continued