Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Dodger Point Lookout (Olympic NP) saved from collapse
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RodF
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Joined: 01 Sep 2007
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Location: Sequim WA
RodF
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PostSun Sep 24, 2017 11:02 am 
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Dodger Point Lookout was in danger of collapse under last winter's snows.  It's dry stacked stone foundation has been gradually failing for the last 15+years, and had so racked the structure that the door could barely be closed in its jam.  Half of one wall had been pushed off its foundation by the unrelenting pressure of the snowdrifts that bury it each winter.  The Park's Backcountry Historic Structures Report detailed the structure and its condition in 2006.  Last winter, the snow load bent the lookout so much that five windows were broken.  It was in severe risk of collapse in the next heavy winter snowfall.

Dodger Point Lookout, built in 1933 by USFS, is the sole survivor of a chain of more than two dozen fire lookouts that once stood guard over Olympic National Forest.  Located on 5753' Dodger Point in the heart of Evans Wilderness, it surveys the entire upper Elwha valley from one of the most scenic sites in all of Olympic National Park.  Within Dodger are preserved its Osbourne fire finder and crank telephone, rare treasures preserved just as they were when in daily use some 80 years ago.  Dodger is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Accessed only by 13 mile Long Ridge Trail ascending steadily more than 4000 feet,  its very remoteness attests to the silent power of wilderness to preserve its own history.
Dodger Point LO 2006
Dodger Point LO 2006
Osborne fire finder
Osborne fire finder
crank telephone
crank telephone

Washington's National Park Fund organized a Preservation with A Purpose fundraiser last spring.  Their enthusiasm raised $104,000 toward repairs on Ipsut Creek Cabin (MRNP), Buckner historic house (NCNP) and Dodger Point Lookout (OLYM) from donors.  REI Foundation also generously contributed to these projects.

Early this summer, the crew began by clearing windfall and reconstructing failed portions of the Long Ridge Trail to restore stock access.  This itself was a major task, requiring 6 weeks of labor and completed while snowbanks still lingered, but essential.  All materials, tools and supplies for the work ahead would be brought in solely by pack mules, just as they were when the lookout was originally built 84 years ago.  Snow melting on a tarp laid out in the sun by a nearby snowbank would provide the sole source of water for the crew.  For the rest of the story, see volunteer Chris Scranton's account Dodger Point Lookout - Completed!

To top it off, the long-missing original 6-light door was replaced.  New paint was applied to the window muntins, frames and door just this week.  Hats off to Nathan, Hans, Chris, mule packer Boone and the rest of the crew for their efforts to preserve this gem as a destination the next generation of hikers may continue to treasure!

Dodger Point Lookout 1992
Dodger Point Lookout 1992
Dodger Point Lookout 1996
Dodger Point Lookout 1996

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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lookout bob
WTA proponent.....



Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 2645 | TRs
Location: wta work while in between lookouts
lookout bob
WTA proponent.....
PostSun Sep 24, 2017 11:47 am 
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Rod...thanks so much for posting this. Dodger is a rare gem and usually when there's so much damage, they just get destroyed.  I'm glad ONP is protecting it for the future.  Very cool telephone and Osborne!!! up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  cool.gif

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"Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")
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Hesman
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Hesman
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PostSun Sep 24, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Awesome!

I had planned on making it to the lookout this year to see the work in progress, alas I didn't make it since a hip was out of alignment. Got the hip back to normal so perhaps next year.

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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reststep
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reststep
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PostMon Sep 25, 2017 3:26 pm 
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Thanks for posting that Rod.  I am glad they could get the lookout fixed up.   up.gif

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Ski
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Joined: 27 May 2005
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Location: tacoma
Ski
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PostMon Sep 25, 2017 5:31 pm 
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cool. up.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Chico
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PostMon Sep 25, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Love it! My thanks to all involved including the park!

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http://capitolriders.org
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Pyrites
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Pyrites
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PostWed Sep 27, 2017 7:30 am 
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Any photos of the mules crossing the river?
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Dodger Point Lookout (Olympic NP) saved from collapse
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