Rogue’s Roost: Paradise In The Wilderness, Part 2.

“There was a trail down each side of the river, and, at the upper end of the Roost complex, there was a swinging bridge across the river…  The bridge was supported by approximately 5/8 inch steel cables, which in turn were supported by large wooden timbers at each end and anchored to large fir trees.  The sides of the bridge consisted of wire fencing approximately two 2x12s about two inches apart.

A short distance downstream from the bridge were the tennis and croquet courts, then the main lodge.  The main lodge included a large kitchen area with a separate dining room for the servants along with two bedrooms and a bath for the Chinese cooks.  The main dining room was long and narrow with a fireplace in the middle of one side, built-in buffets on each side of the swinging door into the kitchen, and a very large, long dining table, which was placed down the center of the room.  From the dining room, there were steps down into the screen-enclosed “summer” dining room, which was a delightful spot furnished with bright-colored canvas chairs and a rustic handmade table.  The screens reached from the eaves to within about two feet of the floor and continued around two sides of the room.

From the summer dining room there was a door into the living room and another door leading to the deck over the edge of the river.  There was a large fireplace on the deck directly opposite the huge fireplace in the living room.  The fireplace in the living room was large enough for an adult to walk into and consumed huge logs, many of which were purchased from my Dad(Gus), who cut wood in the wintertime when there was not too much farm work to do…

The deck over the river was a delightful spot.  There was a large alder tree around which the deck had been constructed, and built-in seats on either side of the fireplace, which I guess would be approximately 15×45′.  There were cracks between the decking boards and , in typical ten-year-old fashion, I used to to like to lie face down in the spring sunshine and peer through the cracks at the water rushing below…

In the area of the Roost…, the river was wild and especially beautiful with many excellent fly-fishing riffles and deep holes.  I remember one particularly interesting spot directly down from the swimming pool area.  There was a huge boulder the size of a small house on the edge of the river.  The water was deep and dark and there was a whirlpool near the big rock.  It was fascinating to watch sticks and leaves being sucked down into the center of the whirlpool …

I have many happy memories of the hours spent curled-up in one of the big leather chairs with a good book, a stack of records on the phonograph and a cozy fire in the fireplace.  It was a fairy-tale sort of place for a financially poor little girl who was actually living in the lap of such luxury…”  –Evelyn Ditsworth Walls

Although,  Rogue’s Roost no longer exists(it was washed away in the ’64 flood), it left indelible memories.  For me, it represents childhood in its most ethereal form.

I remember Mom turning our station wagon down the gravel road, which dropped sharply to the river.  I can still see the lush vegetation on either side of the road, the narrow bridge crossing the irrigation ditch and the ineffable beauty of the surroundings.

I remember the feeling of remoteness and seclusion.  And I always felt a sense of awe when we arrived at the entrance.

I recall walking on the deck and looking out at the rushing river below.  When I looked at all the boulders which stretched across the river, I couldn’t understand how a boat could go through.

My clearest memory, though, is walking the path from Rogue’s Roost through a garden to come out on a clearing to the roaring sound of the Rogue River.  There was a small beach from where you could watch the river plunge over moss-strewn boulders and pour over a large drop-off amidst a series of huge, volcanic boulders.

Rogue’s Roost will always remain a part of my most magical and mysterious childhood memories.  And from time to time it beckons, calling me to an untroubled world where the doors to this kingdom open once again, and the river flows by undisturbed.