My desperate search for the lost manuscript

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The writer’s life . . . Only a small portion of a writer’s life is spent actually putting down words on paper.

That process can only begin after all the research has been completed. The problem I often find in my writing and researching are the distractions that suddenly appear .. The salmon are running in the Deschutes, or in the Coquille.

But recently it was something far different that called me away from work and sent me on a desperate search for a “lost manuscript” that was said to exist somewhere in the wild of Eastern Oregon. It was doubtful the manuscript had survived fires, floods and the passage of time. But the very possibility that it might exist drove me on a desperate search .. (more to come)


Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs, visit his website:  Writing the West

To purchase a copy of Rick Steber’s latest release: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit:


A Moment in Oregon’s History: May1880

map_mouth_columbia_river_1855_WSUMay 4, 1880 dawned with a gentle breeze fanning the flat surface of the Pacific Ocean. Conditions were ideal for commercial salmon fishing at the entrance to the Columbia River. Without warning a freak storm struck and within minutes the wind was blowing in excess of a hundred miles an hour.

Within a half-hour the entire Columbia River fishing fleet was lost, including 240 boats, and the loss of life was set at 325.

crg-salmon-fleet-1910s-400For weeks after the disaster, families and friends of the deceased walked the beaches searching for some sign of their loved ones.

And the ocean, it showed not the slightest remorse.