Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Abiqua Falls

The Abiqua Falls Expedition!

Some time at the beginning of the year one of the cute girlfriends daughters sent me a link to some article about a place that was not part of the Oregon State, normal, state and national parks waterfall circuit. She said this could be our next adventure. I looked it up and saw many beautiful pictures of the place and decided that she was correct and that this should be an adventure.

First off from what I have read online this place is on private land so let's be respectful of that. This place is not easy to get to. Minor climbing and 4 wheel drive are needed to get to the falls.

Start by finding the town of Scotts Mills OR on a map program.

Scotts Mills is one of many nice rural towns in Oregon. It is east of Oregon Hwy 213 by either South Nowlens Bridge Rd. from the north or Mt. Angel Scotts Mills Rd. from the south. Once in town there is an old iron bridge (Nowlens?) You are looking for this road.
 It is easy to find once at the bridge, if you are on Nowlens Bridge road you have to cross the bridge of course. Travel up Crooked Finger Rd for 9 miles. About the 9 mile mark the pavement turns into a gravel road. This part of the road is well maintained. You will now travel approximately 1.2 miles further keeping an eye out on your right for this sign.
The Crooked Finger OHV Area. This is the road down to the falls. it is gravel and reasonably maintained but steep in some areas and gets chewed up causing some deep holes. High clearance and 4 wheel drive are really a must at this point. There is and area where you can park a car and hike down to the trail head.
This is a very small one lane road going down and there are motor bikes and 4 wheelers on this road in the summer months drive slow and cautious. I honked my horn in the blind spots. Take note of the spots where turn outs are possible you may have to back up to one to let a on coming vehicle pass you.

This road winds down for a little over two miles. Stay on the main road and ignore the spurs that shoot off.  You will finally come to a Tree Farm gate and a small wide area where you MAY be able to park. There is room for maybe 6 vehicles down there and it is a very tight turn around.

There are two trail heads here one at the wide area where you park the vehicles and one 100 ft back up the road. One trail is very well suited for climbing down. The other is very much a disaster in the making.
The trail you need to take is the one 100ft back up the road.

You are climbing down a steep hill to get to the Abiqua Creek. Some nice souls have put up ropes in the steep parts that make the climb up and down a cinch. Sadly I must say that this is not a trail for the handicapped or those not of good health. Know your limitations before you go on a hike like this. I write this blog and take lots of pictures for those who can't make it to a place like this. My mom who was almost bed ridden loved that I made this blog.

Once at the bottom you will travel up stream on a rough trail to the falls. The final bend into the falls pool area is the "Oh Wow" moment and well worth the hassle of getting down there.

The Expedition!

Cute girlfriend is not always up for a hard climb adventure but I know a few granddaughters that love crazy adventures. I asked over Facebook for any volunteers for and Expedition to Abiqua Falls in Oregon. After some parental wrangling, and an unfortunate limitation that the youngest grandchildren couldn't go, 3 granddaughters were found that wanted to go. I will make it up to the little ones and make a special day for them.

We started out at 8am and had breakfast at a local eatery called Elmers. Stuffing the talkative teenagers full of pancakes, bacon and such. We drove south heading for Scotts Mills OR and found a few fun things to get pictures of.
For the cute girlfriend, and the next one because it was such a non-sequitur.
 We found the Crooked Finger Rd and traveled up it and made a few wrong turns before we found the OHV road you need to turn down. It was a bumpy ride down to the gate and we attempted to run over a fast riding off-road motorcyclist on a blind corner. It is funny how their eyes get bigger than their helmet as they blast around the corner and there is a truck there. I honked the horn on the first blind corner we came to to avoid that little disaster from happening again. After that one of the girls would go "beep beep" as we approached any

We finally came to the gate and parking area and proper instructions for us all to stay together were given. I shot this video as we started at the trail head

 Then we started down the wrong trail!

 Actually the impetus for this picture was from when I made note on Facebook that we needed kids to have shoes with good tread on them because we were going down some steep hills... One parent said, "just throw them over the ledge". This is a joke of course but we all got some miles out of this joke because they are cute and very lovable children, but sometimes obnoxious teenagers. So number one granddaughter and I kind of staged this pic to keep that joke flowing.

Alas that hill over her head is the one we went down. It looks like a good trail until you get half way down and the rocks are loose. We were kind of passed the point of no return as far as the hill goes so we stopped and the girls went down one at a time and then went for cover once at the bottom because rocks would come loose and tumble down the hill. The girls mostly slid down on their butts so they were really dirty when we hit bottom.

It was a slow go at this point. Send one down wait for them to take cover. Send another until finally I could climb down. We were very dirty so we cleaned off in the creek. We were having a lot of fun so I shot this vid.

It was a little bit of a hike up stream. We crossed the creek two times to avoid bramble. We passed the trail we should have come down, making note to go back up that way. It is a rather rocky hike to these falls but worth every step. Here is a vid I shot as we entered the "amphitheater" of Abiqua Falls.

It was really and amazing place. For the Geology geek in me this place was something to see.
The teenagers took to exploring and took turns taking pictures of the falls with the camera grandma lent them.

I took to pictures of them when they weren't looking and I later found out they did the same thing to me.
This area that the falls empties into is a very special place geologically. Millions of years ago it was a huge and thick lava field. The type of rock the lava contained cooled in a special way forming all these columns. This type of rock formation is common here in the Pacific Northwest near all the Volcanoes of the Cascade Mountain range. It is called Columnar Basalt.
The basalt columns form into polygonal  shaped rocks, like string cheese. There is some iron in this basalt and it is oxidizing causing the red color. With the waterfall the reds and dark greys of the rocks and the back drop of the forest it makes for a good day for a shutterbug.
I'm going to try to come back here during the spring run off to see the falls at full force. There was a kind of sound sweet spot in this "amphitheater'' pool area. To the left of the picture above there is a place where the sound of the falls will build to something that sounds like a distant rumble of thunder. I'm sure this little feature is something that might only happen at this water level. I'm sure at peak spring run off this waterfall is a roaring monster in this rock walled pool it lands in. I took a video of it but I don't think it translated well to phone video. I did take several videos of the falls. I like posting on Facebook 10 sec. "serene moment" vids all so far are waterfalls. Here is a compilation of those vids from Abiqua Falls.

At one point I climbed over to near the back of the falls. It is slippery and wet over there. I was taking pictures with my phone so when I fell it was one of those ungraceful, and probably comical if anyone was watching. Slip, catch yourself, which then causes you to slip again, almost catch yourself and do a "oh crap save the phone" maneuver and pile your fifty year old butt into the rocks. I landed on my side, jamming my thigh against a rock. Phone saved. Pride and thigh damaged. I didn't feel a thing on that leg until midway through the next day. I couldn't even walk down the stairs.
Oldest granddaughter came over about that time and I showed her something I had found earlier. It was half a frog. The other half was in the mouth of a smallish snake. The snake had a problem though. It had snuck up on the frog from a tight hole that it couldn't drag the frog back into. We found it interesting that at this point the frog had an advantage and there was a slight stalemate now and the frog wasn't struggling. We watched for a bit and I think the frog got scared of us and started to pull himself out a little. I thing the snake wasn't happy with us watching either. I moved some rocks around and the snake tried backing up with his meal but the meal had got it's second wind and was now working a little harder to get free. The snake finally gave up on this and "un-swallowed" the frog and slithered back into the rocks. I'm happy to say that the now slimy frog was free and we moved him away from the snake and left him be.
There was a lot of snakes out sunning themselves as we walked out of the place, but all that I saw were the grass snake type. Keep your eyes on the path though this is the woods and there is wild life out there.

There was this big rock on the beach opposite the falls. Hikers like to make little rock piles or cairns on it. I took some "art" shots of some of them while there. This one is interesting but upsetting all in one. Some knucklehead put his gum on top...sigh
In the distance you can see the large rock with all the cairns on it. I'm announcing to all that read this, and only because I say so, that this rock is now called Abiqua Falls Cairn Rock! I hope it
There was also this little teepee of sticks set up for some fire, not that having a fire down there would have been a great idea in the current dry conditions, but it made for a nice shot.
 It finally came time to head back up the hill. This time we would take the trail with all the nice ropes to help us climb. I shot some video during the climb.

The hike up was reasonably uneventful. We did run into a nice gentleman with his young daughter. He asked us if we thought she could make it down. We told him it was worth the hassle to get to the falls and there was ropes to get down. He had a London/British accent and the girls being British TV Fans loved that. He didn't follow us back up so I hope he made it back safe.

We made it back to the truck and we made this Selfie type video together.

We left and bounced back up the one lane road, having to stop and back up once to get some downhill traffic by us.
This is a great hike and one of those hidden wonders type places. You have to take this hike!
Oh and one last thing Bring a 4X4.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Catching up...coming soon...I hope

We have had several adventures in the past few months. Work and general lack of want to do much of anything lately has made blogging those adventures an "I'll get on those later" proposition.

I need to get to work on our "Witches Castle" adventure, an adventure to Beacon Rock, my little trip down south to a wedding and just yesterday our Abiqua Falls Expedition.

I love sharing about our adventures so people can go, vicariously, to these places we go. I love reading about peoples adventures on other blogs and I see that I still get a few people reading some of my postings from several years ago. I haven't lost interest in blogging just "out of gas" as they say and haven't been up to the task of writing.

I have been feeling that I need to get to work sharing these adventures so I can escape the craziness of these days with all the political junk and media bad news barrage that is constantly coming at me. It might be escapism but I'm very sure that there are other people out there that want to escape too from all that crap.

I will probably start with the Abiqua Falls Expedition because it is freshest in my mind, plus the fact that it is an awesome place to go.

Alright time to get typing

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Flavel House, Astoria OR...something weird in this picture!

Just before New Years we took some of the cute granddaughters out to Fort Columbia.  Last summer we had taken the girls out there and I had promised the oldest one that I would take her back out there to go "ghost hunting".  I'm pretty sure the number of people that died on the property of Fort Columbia is probably closer to one than it is 10. I downloaded some supposed ghost hunting apps for my smart phone for the occasion.

We let the girls roam around the fort for a while and they took some very cool picture. (see the article here)
They were down in the bunkers of the fort and they said that one of the door they remember being open was now closed. They asked me to use my phone to see if any thing was there. I turned on an app called ghost detector. This app has a screen that says EMF detector. It showed no change in readings when I used the app near the door.

Let's be real for a second here. There are apps you can download that call themselves ghost detecting apps. Smart phones are wonderful and sometimes amazing things but lets face it there are few things that the meager sensors in these phone can read. The ghost detector app has three screens. One, a twirling radar looking screen that little lighted dots pop up when supposed ghosts are nearby. That screen is pretty stupid. It will say there is a ghost right behind you and if you turn the position of the "ghost' doesn't change.

There is an EMF screen, Elector Magnetic Field detector, it looks like a tachometer off an old semi. This screen actually reacts to magnetic fields. I suspect it can read the signal change across the phones antenna. If you hold it up to a wall outlet it would make the meter get higher readings.

The third screen is suppose to be able to let you ask a question of a ghost and it will give you a one word reply. This one is even more dubious than the first screen. I never ask the phone/ghost any questions, I have a personal rule don't communicate with the dead, I just entertain myself watching what words will pop up. Let's face it, these phones now know where we are at all times, and when I turn this app on when we first got to the fort, the first word that popped up was....wait for it. Explode. Now I'm sure some of our more gullible brethren would think a ghost must be present. That is the beauty of this app, just by the power of suggestion this thing can make you think it works. Very dubious.

There is another app called Ghost Radar and it does much the same thing, all on one screen, except any words that pop up it says them audibly. This one is just as dubious. Like is says when you download the app. "This is for entertainment purposes only"

These are fun when you have kids around because you can mess with them with the little ghost screens...grin

Well it was a cold morning out there at Fort Columbia, and the kids had taken a ton of pictures and climbed all over it messing around being loud so their voices would echo through the place. We made our way back to Astoria on the Oregon side of the river to roam around town some. There is an huge old Victorian Mansion there in Astoria that is a must see if you go to Astoria. Actually there are two must see homes in Astoria OR. One the Victorian, the Flavel House, and two the Goonies house on the east side of town. If you missed out on the 80's Goonies was kind of a coming of age goofy Indiana Jones type movie that had a bunch of crazy kids in it.

I blogged about the Flavel House a year or two ago, I think it was in relation to the ghost we have in our house. This place is cool, especially if you can appreciate Victorian architecture. I got some pictures while I was in there. The interior has been maintained as it was when the Flavel family lived there.

Who were the Flavels? The first thing you need to know is that the Columbia River Bar is the most treacherous in the world. A river bar is usually where the river meets the ocean and in this case it is eats up ship for dinner. There are hundreds of ship wrecks around the mouth of the Columbia. A man name George Flavel offered his service to the powers that be to start a Pilot Service. Because of his knowledge of the conditions and currents at the mouth of the Columbia her was given the rights to run the only Pilot Service on the Columbia. This of course made him rather wealthy and it wasn't too soon after that he started a family.
He was a good business man and a well trusted citizen so it wasn't to long before he owned a good part of the town of Astoria. Befitting of his status he and his family built this huge house.

Picture found on Wikipedia.
It is truly a huge house. A while back the cute girlfriend and I took a tour of this house. One of the rooms was being repaired at that time so we didn't get to see it but we toured the rest of the house and were fascinated by the bathroom. This house was built when indoor plumbing was in it's infancy, yet this place had a toilet of sorts, tub and sink. Cute Girlfriend last time was curious what the toilet looked like because it is hidden under a wood cover. I was behind her waiting to take a look when the cabinet under the sink next to her opened on it's own. I spent a few minutes trying to see if I could get this cabinet door to pop open again by moving around next to it, leaving it partially unlatched and moving around. I could not get it to replicate the popping open incident. Cute girlfriend didn't want anything to do with the room after that. Ghost?

This time around we took the cute granddaughters there to show them a "possible" haunted house. Some of the Flavel family has died in this place so who knows. Well this time I took a lot of pictures.
Cute girlfriend loves these rooms they all have pocket doors.
These are the two sitting rooms at the front of the house.
The Parlor looking east.
Parlor looking west, with a picture of Capt. Flavel on the right....make note of that picture.
Dinning room.
Here is the bathroom. It is upstairs, unheard of when this house was built. The toilet is under the wood box on the left, and the door that popped open last time is under the sink on the right. I asked if it wanted to pop open again but it didn't want to...grin
Here is the galvanized tub.
I think this was the guest room.
Bedroom, this one shared a water closet with another room.
The other bed room with the water closet to the right.
Capt. Flavel and his wife had connecting bedrooms.
The Capt. Quarters.
This is the huge hallway that connects all the upstairs bedrooms, and the oldest cute granddaughter haunting it...grin
Here is the kitchen.
There was this one place in the entry foyer that had two mirrors facing each other on opposite walls. This was a pretty cool effect with the cute granddaughters.

I took a lot of these picture with the hope that I might get a reflection of something in a mirror or glass cabinet, or maybe a light effect. It might have paid off. This is a huge maybe.

This maybe isn't to far of a stretch but I'm open to what we are seeing as Pareidolia. Humans have an interesting trick that the mind does where you may see a face in something like a reflection or the way the leaves of a tree layout. Jesus on toast is Pareidolia. Click on the link above for more. It is an interesting artifact that is on this specific shot.

If you remember the shot of Capt. Flavel, the one I said make note of? The picture is covered in glass. There seams to be a reflection in the glass that crosses the Captains beard. It helps if you can make the picture bigger. Take a look at it first and find out what you see.

I took two pictures of the parlor from the same door so you may be able to see what caused this reflection. The problem is the the picture is presented to the door with a backwards tilt and an odd angle in relation to the door. Here is what it looks like to me.

I see what could be a woman in a long Victorian dress, with a puffy sleeved shirt with a lace collar and what could be her head is in the Captain's left eye, the eye on our right.

Another problem is the reflection fits in with facial features of the captain so this could be Pareidolia.
I will let you be the judge. Like I said it is an interesting artifact.

We left the Flavel House and went to a few antique shops in town, One had all these cool old doors and other salvage architectural pieces. It even had the wheel house from some poor old fishing boat. At one shop the cute girlfriend found some cool Christmas stuff for next years tree.

On the way out of town I found out where the Goonies house is. I was walking the dog so I couldn't get any pictures. The cute granddaughters said it was cool and had all the gadgets that were in the movie attached to the house.

It was a great outing with the granddaughter and I can't wait to have another adventure with them.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loving a child that is not your own and a trip to Fort Columbia

This is an Adventure Blog and any adventures we go on now a days are short and sweet.
Just before New Years I made good on a promise to one of the cute Granddaughters I would take her back to Fort Columbia. She wanted to go "Ghost Hunting" there. Fort Columbia is a hundred year old coastal fort that never saw any action so ghosts are probably hard to find there.

After making arrangements the cute Girlfriend and I ended up with three cute Granddaughters that sang loudly in the back seat of our truck. We got an early start to a cold day and drove out to the fort. It is across the river from Astoria OR. at the mouth of the Columbia River. It was a little tight in the truck with five people and the dog, but it was fun. Nothing ghostly happened so it really turned into a photography event, nice day for it too.

Click on the link above for info on Fort Columbia. It is one of three gun placements built to guard the entrance to the Columbia River. There are two forts on either side of the mouth of the river and Fort Columbia points right down the mouth. I'm not sure what idiot admiral or ship's captain would try to invade the Columbia River, but these forts are one of many built at many harbor entrances around America. When I say idiot to invade the Columbia I mean idiot. The mouth of the Columbia is littered with ship wrecks because it is the most dangerous river entrance in the world.

The Girls explored the gun placements and borrowed cute Girlfriend's (Grandma) new camera. They were having a lot of fun and actually got some great shots. They took some awesome black and white shots.
These are my favorites that they took.
This one is really the coolest.
 The light was pretty good for shooting black and white.
I called this one "Fly Like and Eagle"....cute granddaughter got mad at me...grin
We need to work on the shadow
I took some pictures also ....We made a pit stop to let the dog run and it was near some train tracks.
I told the cute granddaughter I got a picture of her spitting over the edge.....not that she was spitting or anything.
I took the girls out here last summer and got this pic of them.
I had more girls this time so I updated it.
We roamed around and let the girls take pictures for a while and then loaded up and headed back to Astoria and we took them into the Flavel Mansion there...that was the closest we could get to something haunted.
I took some pictures there too and got something interesting in one shot but I will share that on another blog post.
This post is really more about the adventure of modern life.

I have been wanting to write about the bonding of families in these modern times. Cute Girlfriend and I have been together more than 5 years now, and someday when we get the "I's" dotted and the "T's" crossed we will get married.
Cute Girlfriend has truthfully about a dozen grandkids.  What is a man supposed to do in instances like this, he gets together with a woman who has kids and grandkids, that is the whole package, you don't get just the woman. I know there are some people, men and women, that come into situations like this and try to just make it about them as a couple. I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.

How do you love children that are not your own. Well if you are not going to love them I think it best you move on citizen. I think is a toss up sometimes if a person can step forward and take care of someone that is not of their own blood. There maybe some hard wiring that can put up some walls to loving a child that is not your own. You hear of some horrible stuff from step parents that can't get past that little part about it not being of their own blood. There is probably some Freudian name for this but I don't know it. Like I said if you are not going to love them, and I mean love them with all your heart, you need to move on.

I know there are times and instances where there are some children that are a challenge, and moving into most situations like this you are an outsider and have almost zero control over some situations on a child's behavior. I'm telling you now that you may have to tell yourself out loud that you are going to love that child even if it is a little rat. If you can't move on!

I'm lucky that I experienced the good version of this when I was a kid. My Mother passed away when I was 5 from cancer. My dad is and engineer type and probably not the best at being a dad. He is very much in his own head most of the time and has a very different perspective on how things work in the world. He was not a bad father, I know he loved my brother and I, providing for us in his own way. He got us into sports....his sports, but he tried to be involved.

A couple of years after my mother's death he remarried. The woman that took over as mom did a pretty good job at making a nice family unit and I'm proud to call her mom today. She earned that title with honor.
Our new mom came with children of her own. They were a little older than us, some even out of the house already. My dad didn't really have to do much parenting with mom's children luckily for them. When we all moved in together my brother and I now had two sisters and an older brother. My middle sister sometimes had us dumped on her for her to watch us if my folks went out of town. That was totally not fair to her, she was trying to start a family of her own at the time and two active boys in her house for a week sucked.

She loved us though and is someways was very much a mother to us in her own right. This was a good template for me and my brother. We are still close to her to this day even though we are all living apart in different parts of the country.

When the cute girlfriend and I got together and after a while I started interacting with her grandchildren I knew that I had to earn any title of being those children's grandparent. I don't take this lightly. I didn't want to be a flash in the pan with these kids and if I was going to be part of their lives I needed to earn any title like my loving step mother earned the title Mom.

I actually like children, I love being a parent. I may not be the best parent in the world but I strive not to be the worst. There is one person in my life that was the perfect example of how to be a Grandfather and that was my birth mother's father. I try to emulate him when I can. He was quick to laugh at what his grandchildren did and watched us with a smile on his face as we explored and learned about life.

That is what it is in a nutshell for me as far as children go. Watching them grow and learn and be alive is one of my greatest joys. I love these children that now call me Papa and cute Girlfriend thinks these girls have me wrapped around their little finger.

Mixing families can be such a treacherous thing at times. Kids know by osmosis what your position is as a step parent and in some cases will use that as a lever to get what they want. Sometimes a firm hand and a loving stance may be the only thing that gets you through those situations. If you are fair and loving to them you may just win them over. Kids a lot of the time very much want you as their new parent, you need to take it to heart to be that parent. Hold them when needed. Praise them as much as possible. Be there in their lives as much as possible.

I personally may not be able to have grandchildren of my own for various reasons. My cute daughter has had complications that has made it impossible for her to have children. I have told her that adoption is a wonderful option. I have told her that the child she adopts will lovingly become my grandchild and be welcome in this family.

If I haven't made my point in these ramblings I want people out there, men and women, to take full stock of the situation they are getting themselves into. If you can't be honest with yourself and know that you can not love a child of a person that you are getting involved with, get the hell out! If you stay in and make some poor child's life miserable you may find someone like me to fix your wagon because I take offense of people like that.

Children are our future and they need to be raise to be great citizens not scared and messed up ones.

 Loving a child that is not your own is not rocket science. Getting your head around loving those children isn't rocket science either. It is a simple switch. Turn it on and decide to love that child with all your heart or leave it off and move on. I have decided I will love these grandchildren with all my heart and be there for them. There are more on the way that are in need of a Papa, and imperfect me feels up to the task.

They better like adventures too. This Papa will take them to see the world if he can!

Antique adventures, Chautauqua Industrial Art Desk

Thank goodness there is no 12 step program for Antiqueism. Unlike Alcoholism this one is not bad for your health. There might be an unhealthy hole in your wallet caused by Antiqueism, but if you need money just sell the Antique. This is not brain surgery.

The Cute Girlfriend and I love going to Antique shops. I think we just love the nostalgia of it all, and some of the history involved. Plus there is a lot of things out there that are in bad shape and you can still keep alive by doing a little, what they call today, re-purposing. I love to see old things kept here with us so we can have memories and show a whole new generation what was in the past.

Shows like American Pickers have our attention, we can get a serious injection of nostalgia from shows like that. It is funny on that show that they go to these peoples house that most people would consider borderline hoarders, but these people have collected a lot of old stuff that is now valuable and when these Pickers leave the hoarder/collector now has a good chunk of cash in his/her hand.

Antiques are an interesting thing because they are always going to be a thing that gets rarer and rarer so there will always be a market for old thing. It is amazing how you are seeing old architectural stuff at antique shops now a days. Old doors, columns, door knobs, sash windows, old light fixtures, all of it has some value. Someone owns an old house and they could use that part to make it look original.

Cute girlfriend and I would love to have an old Craftsman home in the future and it is good to know that old stuff can still be had.

We went to some antique shops not long after Christmas and found some old Christmas stuff 50 and 75% off so we snatched that stuff up. Cute girlfriend is gathering together some of the old stuff that her mom use to have so she can rebuild the memories of her mom and Christmas past.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I had to go down to California to help my dad get moved out of his old house up in the hills above Sacramento. I grabbed up the old things he didn't want any longer and packed them back home with me. There was this old, for lack of a better word, portable student desk that was there and I brought it home. Last night before I went to bed I was looking up what it was on my smart phone.

I found an article titled,"The Laptop of the 1920's".  There was a picture of the item I had but it looked different. This one had stuff inside that I hadn't seen. I had it in my mind this was just a book box with a chalkboard on one side and a map of the United States on the other. So this morning I came upstairs and opened it up, I had been opening it upside down I think, and there was all the things I saw in the article.

They called it the "Chautauqua Industrial Art Desk" and man did this have an interesting history. A friend of mine and I call this type of find on the internet going down the "Rabbit Hole".  You find something and it has some history and get to go down different branches of the rabbit hole and new things pop up. Here is the "Desk"
Poor old water stained map of the good ol' USA.
I cleaned up all the dust and dirt, thank goodness the mice hadn't made bedding out of the papers inside, and made sure everything was working. It had two old books and what very well could be a 100 year old chalkboard eraser.

Let me tell you what you could learn from this art desk. That is a scroll at the top, and it has 25 panels on it, showing you shapes that a Kindergartener would need progressing on to a short hand panel that court reporters use, and even Morse Code. These desks were sold normally door to door and several books came with it to help the parent help the student learn more in depth what was on the scroll panels. I found them on line for a few bucks so I bought the books to make the set complete.

These desks were made by Lewis E. Myers and Company starting in the late 1800's, continuing to update and sell them until the late 1920's until the stock market collapse killed the company.

There is another rabbit hole to go down about Chautauqua, but I want to share some of the panels with you.
It is amazing what they taught kids 100 years ago. A lot of these panels are almost specialty learning stuff now.
Farm Scenes and Farm animals. Master Book 1 was purchased with the desk to help enhance what was on each panel of the scroll....I have that book on order.
 Drawing some famous people.
Kids today wouldn't know what this is....hell I don't even know if they teach cursive anymore....sigh
Lettering and even Roman Numerals.
Morse Code!
Short Hand!
Business Forms?...we can do this stuff on our smart phones now.
Raise your hand if you know what a Vanishing Point is?
Rail Road Signaling.
Sending and receiving is says on this one....Morse Code over Radio I'm guessing.
Wood working tools.
Drafting and Blue Print....cute little Craftsman Bungalow.
Flags and colors.
 Bird and egg identification.
Fine Art.

I can not believe how much a child would learn off this thing with the included books. The one I have is probably made around 1914. Still hanging around after 100 years. Not to shabby.  The research said there were millions of these made so this one isn't that rare, but it sure is cool.

Here is the other thing I found while researching. Chautauqua means something. I found something called the Chautauqua Movement. In this day and age a movement can have some negative connotations, so I was feeling a little worried when I clicked on the link. It looks like the Manufacturer of these desks was involved in this movement some how, but I'm not sure.

First off Chautauqua is a town in New York State sitting next to a lake of the same name. Around 1874 a Methodist minister named John Heyl Vincent and a businessman named Lewis Miller started having what they called Assemblies at a campsite near the lake. It was more to train Sunday school teacher at the time but started to become popular and the gatherings grew to be called the Chautauqua Assembly. It was done in the summer and morphed into a traveling show called simply the Chautauquas. Lodges with their name popped up across the country and a traveling tent show toured the country.

These Assemblies would feature famous speakers of the time. It was non-denominational Methodist sponsored so there was a spiritual component to it. Some of the speeches would not go over well in this day and age. I read part of a speech by a man named Russell Conwell, called "Acre of Diamonds", telling the good people of America to get rich because we need good trustworthy rich people. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and even Presidential candidates were speakers at these Assemblies.

They had all sorts of entertainment, Band Music including the likes of John Phillip Sousa, Choirs, singing group, even towards the end Opera. Folk tales and stories were told at these events.

Politics was of the flavor of Temperance, Women's Suffrage, Child Labor Laws, and the plight of the common man. It looks like they took the middle ground in this so they could attract as many people as they could.

Chautauquas were the go to event when they were in town. They focused on bringing education to the far flung rural communities. I can understand why these would be popular during this time. No TV, no radio, news taking weeks to reach them. I think my hunger for knowledge and news of the big wide world could be fed at one of these assemblies.

It looks like when radio and the automobile finally made their appearance rural America had no need for the Chautauquas and they slowly faded away. The are not dead though, I guess as you travel America you may still see some of the Chautauqua Lodges is some small towns. Some of these Lodges may still be active. The Chautauqua Institute is still around and still in the town it started at in New York State.

This is the type of informational adventure I can sink my teeth into.