Building the Hayes River Rescue Patrol Cabin

Olympic National Park 1969

By Richard Tarnutzer

Finished cabin

Finished cabin

In July 1969, while the first man was walking on the moon, I was driving my ’64 El Camino from southern California to Port Angeles, Washington to participate as a volunteer with the Student Conservation Association. I was right out of High School, seventeen and just months away from registering with the draft board for the Vietnam War. Back then we weren’t so tethered to our parents by cell phones, the internet or GPS. Staying out of trouble required some small degree of skill to make good decisions on our own. Otherwise, we’d run out of gas, go hungry or get lost. With those possibilities the next three weeks was going to be a great adventure.

On July 25th, fifteen high school boys arrived in Port Angeles from all across the United States. They came from Texas, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Vermont, Tennessee, New York, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Washington…….all on their own. No parents dropped them off.

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