Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rudyard Kipling Is On The Agenda

Did you know that famed Nobel-prize winning author Rudyard Kipling once spent a day fishing on the Clackamas River? When the Oregon Geographic Names Board meets this Saturday, the 25-member volunteer panel will consider a proposal to name an 18' x 60' rock in the river near the town of Carver after Kipling, who--according to local lore--spent one sunny day in 1889 perched atop the outcropping. And boy, did he ever enjoy himself. The 23-year-old writer was in the midst of a tour of the American west, and he wrote rhapsodically of his day on the Clackamas River.

For a taste of Kipling's enthusiastic description, I turned to retired Oregonian outdoors writer Tom McAllister, a long-time member of the Geographic Names Board. McAllister read for me a brief snippet of what Kipling had to say:

Tom McAllister Reads Rudyard Kipling

Whew! That's the kind of writing that tourism agencies would pay top dollar for, and indeed, Kipling's description supposedly spurred interest far and wide about the delights of Oregon. If you want to see the rock that may soon bear Kipling's name, you'll have to get a boat. McAllister says the rock isn't visible from any road or other public property.