We bought a kayak for my birthday. I was bestowed with the honor of choosing our new toy. I listened to the salesman describe the many facets of kayak design: tracking, cargo capacity, skegs and rudders, maneuverability, stability. After much deliberation and consideration I chose by the only really important feature of every kayak: Color.
Alternatively tranquil and tumultuous, the Rogue chisels through the bristled plateau of the Siskiyou Mountains, taking on the character of a coastal river: steep-sided, narrow and heavily forested with moody, molting pools and sudden, spuming chutes and rapids. The French trappers who worked this watershed in the early 19th century found the waters troubling, but the Takelma Indians more so, and so the trappers called the river Les Coquines ("the Rogues") after their local adversaries. Almost two centuries later the Rogue would prove a scallywag of a river for me as well.