The map that Ray drew

Fishing map drawn by Ray Minehan.

Fishing map drawn by Ray Minehan.

Rogue’s Roost and many other spots on the Rogue River were known for excellent steelhead and salmon, so to provide their guests with a fishing map, Nion and Phyllis Tucker hired sketch artist, Ray Minehan.  He drew a limited amount of sketches that are all numbered.  This is #22.  It is supposed that the maps were drawn in the late 30s or early 40s. The Roost had been purchased by the Tuckers as a picnic site from Walter and Alice Bowne in the 1930s.  At that time, there was only a small cabin, and nothing to suggest what would become the magnificent Rogue’s Roost.  The Tuckers then bought other parcels from different landowners to complete the finished residence. Joseph Chevigny was the chauffeur and fisherman in residence.  He and my Dad used to go fishing together.  It was Joe who taught my Dad about the art of fly fishing.  The area near the Roost boasted a huge spawning bed and great steelhead fishing.  Joe created his own fly that he called the Chevigny fly.  My Dad copied it, and made numerous flies that he gave to friends.  He renamed the fly, The Rogue River Special, and the name stuck.  It is still used by fishermen today. The upper left of Ray’s map shows the elegant Roost with its spacious lawn.  The main building in the center opened out to a deck over the river.  It was not unusual to see Jack salmon or steelhead jumping in the sparkling water.The lower left of the map shows the end of a fisherman’s efforts: a large, tasty fish ready to be eaten. A few comments regarding some of the places mentioned on the map: 1.  The town of McLeod no longer exists.  It was subsumed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a visitors’ information center for Lost Creek Dam.  2.  Casey’s Camp was an extention of the original Casey’s Auto Park.  Today it is called Casey State Park. 3.  Round House(a stone house) was built by Emmett(Sno-Cat) Tucker(no relation to the Tuckers of Rogues Roost), and eventually became the famous Obstinate J Ranch until it was sold and the name changed.  4.   Beagle was a pioneer community that began in 1885 and ended in 1941 when the U.S. Army took it over to establish Camp White. 5.  Sunset on the Rogue included a gas station, store for food and fishing, and cabins.  It still exists today!  6.  California on the Rogue offered a gas station and cabins. The name has been changed, but the buildings remain.  I knew the owner during the 60s, Mr. Sullivan.  I brought a geode to him from the North Umpqua region and asked him if there could any crystals.  He said, “Nah!”  When I got to the Obstinate J Ranch, I split the geode and found it full of reddish-brown quartz crystals!  7. Captain Black’s refers to what became Black Oaks.  The place currently belongs to the Donald L. Donegan family and encompasses some of the best steelhead water between Dodge Bridge and TouVelle State Park.      8.  Dowden and Hardy’s should be reversed.  Hardy Rapid Class 2+ contains an enormous hole in the middle of the river that must be avoided.  Dowden refers to Dowden Falls, today known as Gold Nugget Falls Class 3+.  Every summer rafters and kayakers float the left channel of the falls that includes two large drops, especially the last one!  The campground provides a beach with great views of the lower drop.  A great place to relax and reflect on nature’s wonders.

The Removal of a Dam and a Tragedy

Gold Ray Dam had been a fixture for about one hundred years.  But, under pressure from the Oregon Fish and Game Commission, a decision was made to remove it.  The reason being that it provided a major obstacle for salmon swimming upstream and impeded their growth.  The dam itself was not really doing anything.  Above it, a slough had formed, creating a water sanctuary for hundreds of riparian creatures.  These life forms had thrived for over a century, but disaster was about to overtake them…

A long battle for the removal of Savage Rapids Dam ended several years ago when it was finally taken out.  The people involved in the job were cautious as to how much water they would let out at any given time, and no major incidents occurred.  Above it, a placid lake had formed, but there was nothing like the teeming slough in back of Gold Ray.  The river at first created a mean rapid, then settled into a more mild Class 2 with just a few rocks to dodge.  The river cut a wide swathe where there had once been a more narrow and treacherous drop.  It reminded folks of the effects of the 1964 flood, which did precisely the same thing.

When the removal of the Gold Ray Dam went from paper to action, the dam removers felt a surge of confidence based on the successful removal of Savage Rapids.  But, alas! Hubris and carelessness overtook them.  Instead of moving cautiously with measured steps of removal(as had been the case with Savage Rapids), they took large chunks out of the dam, while underestimating the power of the river in back of it.  The result was an ecological catastrophe.  Suddenly, the river burst through with a violent roar, and moved away from the habitat that had depended on it for sustenance.  Thousands and thousands of water creatures perished.  Photos published showed fishes faces in shock.  These pictures brought a truly affecting quality to creatures that were just caught and eaten at will.  And, irony of ironies, the removal of Gold Ray, which was intended to preserve the salmon and other species,  ultimately contributed towards their destruction.

It must be said that many people from the Fish and Game tried to save as many species as they could.  But their efforts caused only a mild dent in the tragedy that had occurred.  Let us hope that in the future, dam removers will show the same consideration for habitat as dam builders.

A video showing Class 2 Gold Ray Rapid today:

Something to Think About: Mathematical Lunacy

The notion that mathematical reasoning is somehow linked with mental illness is not as far-fetched as it might first appear.  The late mathematician, Robert Brooks, provides an amusing analogy of his own in our discussion of mathematical shape;

RW:  Then it’s(the world of mathematical shapes) your world.  You’re immersed in this abstract universe that you’ve created.

RB:  That’s right.  My wife is a family physician, and she says that the patients that remind her of me the most are the schizophrenics, because they’re walking around in a world that’s very real to them, but invisible to anyone else….  I actually spend a lot of time just sitting with… paper models, playing with them, and asking myself what is the same about them, and what is different.

Mathematics and mental illness:  Something to think about.

Some Notes on Spanish for Reading

Unlike the other languages for reading in this series, the Spanish edition is relatively recent and quite affordable.  It is a delightful and effective way for learning to read Spanish, and is highly recommended.

The book’s introduction treats Spanish vowels and consonants with descriptions on how to pronounce them.  The first chapter is critical for it deals with cognates of which there are an abundance.  These should be studied assiduously, since they are indispensable for expanding vocabulary.  I must say that although I had three years of high school Spanish, and took a summer course in Mexican civilization and culture, the first reading about the Spanish language seemed completely foreign.  The next three chapters place a strong emphasis on the geography and history of Spain and Latin America.  After these chapters, the authors concentrate on legends, festivals, and other aspects of Hispanic culture.  The readings are quite interesting and build up the reader’s knowledge of Spanish grammar, which is much easier to grasp than French or German.  It is not until Chapter 10 that the reader gets his/her first taste of Spanish literature.  The excerpts provided come from Juan Ramon Jimenez’s highly poetic and personal masterpiece, Platero and I.  In this intriguing work, the author shares his thoughts and reflections with his beloved donkey, Platero as they travel together.  An excellent translation of the complete work is available through the University of Texas.  The idea of traveling through towns and surrounding country is a major theme in Spanish literature.  Beginning with the picaresque(which features a rogue as hero, and was a reaction to courtly romances), it finds its culmination in Miguel de Cervantes’s work, Don Quixote, in which Sancho Panza(picaresque tradition) and Don Quixote(courtly tradition) travel the countryside together, viewing events from the point of view of their respective traditions.  The 12th chapter has a long reading:  Women and the Labor Force in Latin America and the Caribbean”.  This is the type of writing you might find in a newspaper or scholarly article.  At first it’s a bit intimidating, but repeated readings will flush out the meaning and boost your confidence.  Chapter 14 has two scholarly articles:  “Latin America in Transition”, and “Drug Traffic:  Two Sides of the Coin”.  The latter is particularly difficult, because some of the grammatical constructions are quite complex.  I would study these two articles until you are comfortable with all the syntactical windings.  Some brief poems by Pablo Neruda complete this instructional volume.

The major shortcomings of this book are two:  there is no comprehensive grammar test at the end as is the case with German for Reading, and there is no vocabulary list, so you will need to purchase a Spanish dictionary.  But the shortcomings are minimal compared to the excellent preparation for reading Spanish that it provides.  After completion, I found I could read a number of literary texts without much difficulty.  I recommend the book to you without hesitation as a wonderful way of experiencing the many facets and colors of the Spanish cultural heritage.

Something To Think About

Below are two quotes from two mathematicians.  Robert Brooks is speaking about mathematics, but could his statement refer to something else?  Charles Kalme mentions education and not mathematics, but is there a connection between the two quotes?  What do these two quotes suggest in our everyday lives?

 

“…it dawned on me that all the numbers we had been given to add up until that time had been kind of “cooked up” so you didn’t have to carry…;  and I said to myself,  “I wonder what else they’re holding back?”–Robert Brooks, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Southern California

 

“Education courses are where you learn not to rock the boat.”–Charles Kalme, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Southern California

A Stroll Through Vasquez Rocks State Park

Recently, our caretaker, Glenn Malapit, drove Dad and me to Vasquez State Park.  In the old days, you could see this strange collection of rocky ledges from the Sierra Hwy.  But the Antelope Valley Fwy. is well to the east of the rocks,  so you must drive a ways on Agua Dulce Canyon Road and Escondido Canyon Road before you get your first glimpse of this unusual collection of rock formations.  These formations were used in old westerns, and more currently, Star Trek.  The parking lot is on a gravel road with several stones of its own that need to be negotiated before your stroll begins.  But, perhaps, a few words of the history of this Park are in order.

Erosion  and movement along the Elk Horn Fault are responsible for the shale-basalt slabs of today.  The slabs are part of the Soledad Basin, which formed over time from thousands of feet of sediment.

Native Americans lived here for almost 2000 years, beginning with 200 B.C.  However they were eliminated by diseases carried by the Spanish.  Tiburcio Vasquez and his bandits brought life back to the Basin.  Eventually, after a lucrative career, he was caught and executed, but the Park remains in honor of his reckless life.

What follows below are some photos of our trip to Vasquez Rocks State Park.

One of Vasquez's Rocks

One of Vasquez’s Rocks

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks

A small valley in Vasquez Rocks

A small valley in Vasquez Rocks

standing in front of Vasquez Rocks

standing in front of Vasquez Rocks

A stratified ledge in Vasquez Rocks

A stratified ledge in Vasquez Rocks

Me, enjoying the beauty of Vasquez Rocks

Me, enjoying the beauty of Vasquez Rocks

One of the hollows at Vasquez Rocks

One of the hollows at Vasquez Rocks

A stratified edge of Vasquez Rocks

A stratified edge of Vasquez Rocks

Dad and I in front of the Rocks.

Dad at 92 and I in front of the Rocks.

 

 

The same as above photo.

The same as above photo.

the base one of Vasquez Rocks

the base of one of Vasquez Rocks with spring flowers

A vision of hardened sediment

A vision of hardened sediment

One of the sharp edges of Vasquez Rocks

One of the sharp edges of Vasquez Rocks

An opening in the Rocks

An opening in the Rocks

A series of openings in the Rocks.

A series of openings in the Rocks.

A wide opening in Vasquez Rocks

A wide opening in Vasquez Rocks

The top of a rock reveals some surprises

The top of a rock reveals some surprises

A major division of the Rocks

A major division of the Rocks

A closer look at the rock surface

A closer look at the rock surface

Some interesting mounds in the Rocks

Some interesting mounds in the Rocks

Surprise! Russian Humor: The Encore

Here are some more samples of Russian wit at work:

 

A teacher asked his student why he didn’t do his homework.

The student asked him:

–Did you correct my dictation?

The teacher answered:

–No.  I corrected students’ dictations from the other classes.

The student responded:

–Well, I did the homework for my other teachers.

 

A boy’s mother told him that if he got a tattoo, he could just get out of the house.

His father told him that such a possibility doesn’t happen very often, and that he should make the best use of it.

 

A patient was at the psychologist’s office:

–At work, it seems that nobody understands me;  all I see are dull eyes, indifferent looks, and a total lack of desire to listen to me.

The psychologist asked his patient:

–What do you do for a living?

The patient replied:

–I teach quantum physics.

 

A daughter was begging her relatives for a baby brother or a baby sister.

Her mother tried to explain:

–Understand, precious, that Daddy is on a trip, and he won’t return for several days.  Until Daddy gets back, we can’t have a baby.

But the little girl retorted:

–Just the opposite!  We’ll have the baby right now, and when Daddy returns, we’ll tell him:  Surprise!”

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