Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rouge River Country

If you had trouble seeing Amy's video...try a third time. Bren has a nifty patch on it now. But on to the blog....

If you have been following the Kim family ordeal in southern Oregon, you might notice that where they were lost is where I rafted this fall. I was not sure of the exact location, but come to find out that is where it was. The father is still missing. He set out on foot two days ago to see if he couldn't get help and never returned. Mom and two kids (four and seven months) are fine. The baby was the only one admitted to the hospital and she was released this morning.

Nine days, they were lost stranded. Not sure of all the details on how they survived, but they took the wheels off the car and burned the tires for warmth and as a signal fire. Mother was breast feeding the baby and turns out she gave her milk to the four year old too for nourishment. Mom was surviving on snacks they brought along and melted snow to drink.

I have to comment on the terrain. The Rogue River is a canyon that runs west from Crater Lake to the ocean. We were on it for about 35 miles west of I-5, which is where these people were headed...Gold Beach. It is rough and the only access is seasonal roads. They are paved, one lane roads with turnouts in case you meet someone. They are carved out of the mountains (Coast Range) and there are sheer drop offs. I cannot imagine how they got as far as they did. They missed the main state highway and took off on one of these Forest Service roads to try to get to Gold Beach. There is NO cell phone service anywhere along the Rogue. There is no electricity. The two lodges we stayed in had diesel generators that ran only a few hours a day for power. The rest of the time there was nothing. The early vacationers flew in and out of one of the lodges...and how they did that is not clear. The other had a grass runway that that is still used.

Anyhow, as much as you may feel like the 21st century, there are places in your backyard that are like they were 150 years ago. Zane Gray had a cottage (restored) along the Rogue which was only accessible from the west. Enough on that.

The building inspector came by this morning and approved the footer for the building project. He laughed at the shed that is in the back yard and told me it was not legal...too close to the property line. He said he wouldn't report me. I told him thanks for that, but that where I came from the city paid property owners to improve their old houses by subsidizing roof and insulation expenses (since much of our roof is being replaced and all of it will be recovered.) I was wondering what the City of Newberg might be doing to help us in our project. He just looked at me (earring glistening in the sun.)

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