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Malcolm S. Bates - Three Fingers

p. 12: Photo of Goat Flats in winter, late 1930s. A figure, probably on skis, traverses a snowy trail.

p. 23: Describes the early days of the U.S. Forest Service. Through the recollections of Harold Engles and the Three Fingers lookouts, the book offers a fine portrait of Forest Service men and their work before World War II. On p. 135, the author discusses differences between the modern Forest Service and that in Harold Engles' day.

p. 31: In September 1929, Harry Bedal and Harold Engles made a reconnaisance of the south peak of Three Fingers, reaching nearly the top, which led them to think that building a lookout on the summit was feasible. On August 14, 1931, Bedal and Engles returned for another look, reaching the top this time (p. 42). They blasted rock until late in the evening. In September 1931, the top of the peak was flattened with dynamite (p. 41). The lookout cabin was ready for occupancy in September 1932.

p. 53: The Three Fingers lookout was manned for eight summers starting in 1935. The author describes the stints of Harold Weiss (1935, p. 53), Harland and Catherine Eastwood (1936, p. 63), Robert Craig (1937-40, p. 75), and Harry Tucker (1941-42, p. 81). Harry Tucker's mother and brothers spent the summer of 1943 at Goat Flats watching for Japanese planes. After 1943, the Three Fingers lookout was abandoned (p. 93, 117).

p. 57: Harvey Manning said, "A lot of guys in my crowd lusted to get summer jobs with the Forest Service. Very few did... It seemed to me that a kid who came from a logging town and a logging, or Forest Service, family, got to the UW and took forestry, had a lock on the job." Harold Engles acknowledged that he was obliged to find work for two college forestry students each summer, and they did hire local fellows. "But I looked for capable young men wherever I could find them."

p. 64: Harland and Catherine Eastwood spent a honeymoon summer in the Three Fingers lookout in 1936. Catherine wrote a 1937 Saturday Evening Post article about their experiences. They had some short skis and Harland recalled, "With those things on, boy, you could get over to Tin Can Gap in a hurry" (p. 73). In June, Harland Eastwood and Bob Craig repaired the telephone lines above Tupso Pass (see also p. 69). Catherine Eastwood took movies of them skiing down from Tin Can Gap carrying 80-pound bales of telephone wire around their necks. Harland Eastwood became an accomplished downhill skier and a member of mountain rescue, despite having lost an arm to a hunting accident in his youth. He took part in the search for Delmar Fadden on Mt Rainier. The Eastwoods later had stints as ski patrollers and as partners in an outdoor manufacturing company (p. 74). Bob Craig was also a strong skier and probably continued to use skis during his four years in the Three Fingers lookout (p. 75).

p. 84: Harry Tucker was born in 1920 and grew up in Darrington. He and his friends used to ski into places like Kennedy Hot Springs and Goat Flats in the winter, probably in the 1930s. "We had some modified skis and canvas socks and we used the skis like snowshoes. Talk about a clumsy deal."

p. 119: In 1972, the author and friends climbed to the Three Fingers lookout and found many relics from the 1930s--old magazines, pots and pans, a radio, a fire finder, the old bed, blankets, a manila rope, and a pair of short skis used by the Eastwoods in 1936. He writes: "Entries in the new register reflect a real concern for the cabin's well-being. Signing in, the hiker becomes more than a visitor. He becomes a steward of the lookout and the history it contains. People who have climbed the mountain often have little tolerance for those who fail to heed the instructions tacked to the wall: Sweep the floors, close the shutters tightly and take nothing but trash and memories." The lookout has been repaired several times, with major restoration in 1986 (p. 137).

p. 127: In 1984, the Washington Wilderness Act created the 48,900-acre Boulder River Wilderness, including the Boulder River, Three Fingers, Whitehorse, Liberty, Big Bear and Mt Ditney.

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Last Updated: Sat Jul 26 21:19:14 PST 2003