A Series of Dreams...

Ken Jones

Staff member
I am not a fiction writer but do occasionally dip the pen into the dark arts.


A Series of Dreams

Dreams—Edgar Allan Po

From mine own home, with beings that have been

Of mine own thought—what more could I have seen?

‘Twas once—and only once—and the wild hour

From my remembrance shall not pass—some power

Or spell had bound me—’twas the chilly wind

Came o’er me in the night, and left behind

Its image on my spirit—or the moon

Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon

Too coldly—or the stars—howe’er it was

That dream was as that night—wind—let it pass.


Date: May 14, 2007

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department Report No. 47379-B-642

Officer: Ted Matthews

Incident: California Parks Ranger John Simmons reported an apparently abandoned vehicle parked at the end of Dry Lagoon Road off of old Highway 101 (road mile H94). The vehicle, registered to a Kenneth A. Jones, Lodi, California, is a 2000 Chevy S10, License Plate number PIERFSH, and vehicle number 48066-879-327. The vehicle was found locked—with no apparent damage to the vehicle or to its contents—and had been parked for at least the past three days. The vehicle was towed to the Orick substation where Sheriff Deputies Derek Long and Tom Bradley examined it.

Preliminary Determination: Based upon the clothing and various fishing tackle found in the truck, as well as a fishing log found in the cab, it appears that Mr. Jones was on a fishing trip and may have intended to fish in the lagoon area. However, no fishing equipment has been found in the lagoon area nor has any body been found. The department contacted Mrs. Jones who said her husband frequently took solo fishing trips but had failed to call her as he normally does each night. She said she believed he was planning on fishing the Crescent City area piers prior to his scheduled return on the 19th. In addition to the fishing log, a somewhat mysterious diary was found in the suitcase of the missing person. Excerpts are included below.


Diary of an Angler

May 5, 2007: I am writing this diary based upon recent unusual events which have left me confused and somewhat at a loss for words. I do not know where these events will lead but sincerely hope that I am not going insane.

It all started more than four years ago when I began to have a series of dreams that were repeated time and time again. They concerned fish, and fishing, and were so intense that sometimes I would awaken muttering and bathed in an ice cold sweat. The dreams were pleasurable and surreal but also ultimately frightening. They contained geographic areas and features that I know do not exist. And although they all contained elements of the real world, they also contained impossible (or so I thought) scenarios that I attributed to my imagination. What angler doesn’t dream of fishing in a paradise where the fish are plentiful and the catch fantastic? What angler doesn’t admire the beauty and nature of fish themselves and dream of seeing them interact in their natural world? I should have been thrilled with some of the images but the dreams and their repetitive nature awakened questions as to meanings that I could never answer, questions that have come to haunt me and turn the dreams into nightmares.

The first dream was of a trip to San Diego, the town where I spent much of my youth in the ‘60s and ‘70s and an area that I have fished extensively. I know the fishing spots and the fish to be caught. But this dream contained places unknown to me or, I imagine, any human being. In the dream I arrive for a visit to San Diego, check into my motel and then head out to do some fishing. The initial destination is a spot near the mouth of the San Diego River, a site near where the underground river emerges and a channel runs down into the ocean. Years ago I had watched fisherman cast heavy poles and snag huge mullet from this area but I had never partaken of that sport, if it was indeed a sport. But now, for some unknown reason, I am drawn down to that mostly hidden area.

However, I am met by strangers who escort me down a secret passage to a grotto, an underground cavern complete with a kaleidoscope of colors emanating from the ceilings, walls, and a series of small pools, each richly embossed with colorful fish. The pools, or ponds, remind me of the seven pools at journey’s end in Hana, Maui, but here there are only six pools, stacked slightly above one another, each seemingly draining into the next. For some reason the fish of one do not enter the pools of another.

An ichthyologist’s dream, the fish seem divided by type and all are wondrous to behold. One pool contains various perch and perch-like fish—huge rubberlip perch, pileperch, blackperch, striped perch, rainbows and the smaller species such as walleys, silvers, spotfins, shiners, kelp perch and others. Mixed in are perch-like fish such as opaleye, zebraperch, blacksmith and halfmoons. A second pool contains members of the bass family, everything from small undersized calicos to sand bass, groupers and a monstrous black (giant) sea bass that must weigh well over 600 pounds. A third pool contains the croakers, the smaller inshore species like yellowfins, spotfins and corbinas, together with the larger corvinas and some huge white seabass. Even a gigantic totuava, weighing at least three hundred pounds, in seen in the watery home. Two pools contain the various sharks and rays, some monstrous in size, while a final pool contains tuna—yellowfins approaching five hundred pounds in size, bluefins approaching a thousand pounds in size, and their smaller cousins, the bonito, skipjacks, and mackerel. Six pools in all, each containing a different type or family of fish.

The colors of the various fish are overwhelming in themselves but the lights also reveal ceilings and walls awash in images of fish—thousands and thousands of fish—frescos, paintings and carvings—an unparalleled scene for those that love fish. It’s as if Michelangelo had returned from the dead and sculpted for a new Vatican; as though Zimmermann had brought his talents from Wieskirche; as though the mad, fairytale King Ludwig had ordered a new grotto to rival his masterpiece at Schloss Linderhof in Bavaria. The grotto presents a Baroque and Rococo masterpiece as grand as any of the Cathedrals or Castles in Europe but here there is life to rival the art of the masters—a grotto alive, somehow, with these wonderful fish.

But how do they live? And where does the subterranean lighting that seems to emanate from the pools and walls themselves come from? How does a mass of fish survive in these pools in such proximity to each other? Where does their food come from, how do they breed? What is the ultimate mystery of this cavern? Who else knows of its existence? I seem now to be alone with the fish, the guides have disappeared and there is no one to answer my questions. Although I run from pool to pool, and look for hidden crevices that may lead to answers, there are none. Just myself and the fish and they, for all their miraculous wonder, cannot answer a simple question. I am both overwhelmed and frustrated as I finally retrace my steps and exit the grotto. And then a new mystery. Somehow I was led to the cave but others seem to simply pass as though blinded to the scene.

But the cave wasn’t a singular San Diego experience. No, I also had visions of surf fishing along what I remembered as Mission Beach, a tourist-packed beach more famous for its Victorian Era roller coaster and family friendly fun zones than its fishing. Typically it had mild conditions to go with its mild but relaxing fishing. However, mighty waves now pounded the shore, awe-inspiring waves that rivaled any to be found in Hawaii, northern California or the Outer Banks of North Carolina. And, the conditions seemed to exist for miles, from Ocean Beach to La Jolla. The huge waves, 15-20 feet in height crashed on to the shoreline, making the fishing nearly impossible. But somehow a peninsula of types (like a mighty jetty) draws me out and from it I am able to cast out a line and pull in, fish after fish, the mightiest species from the area. But I am alone on the peninsula. No one else seems to see or enter it. Only I am privileged to visit that spot and only I am able to take the fish from that spot. When my thirst for fish is sated and I leave, a fog bank appears and thick, sickly-looking haze seems to flow in and block out not only the sun but also the very existence of the peninsula.

There is no such a grotto, there can’t be? Nor is there such a surf area as envisioned? But the dreams return to these images time after time after time and they seem so real. Am I looking into the future? Will such dreams become reality? I don’t know the answer but increasingly must know!


The second dream takes place far to the north in the fog-enshrouded redwoods along the Lost Coast northwest of Garberville. While heading to Shelter Cove via Redway, I spot a sign indicating a shortcut to the coast. Nearly missed due to the redwood and fir branches that extend to the edge of the road, the sign says three miles to the coast (although I know there is only one road up and over the coastal range that traverses this region and that the distance is much greater). I turn and follow the narrow, circuitous, two-lane road for several miles before it sharply inclines down to reveal a small town that sits on the lip of a fjord-like bay. Surrounded on three sides by mountains and trees, the placid waters of the bay reveal a series of connected wharves extending out over the water quite a distance. On each wharf is what appears to be an old packing shed (or so I originally assumed).

The town itself is deserted with the thirty or so old, single-room cabins appearing to have been abandoned for many a year. Indeed, the town for the most part was reverting to nature with fir, redwood, rhododendron and azaleas slowly covering the remaining buildings. At the water’s edge is a dilapidated building with a tattered sign containing a picture of a fish and a warning—”enter at your own risk and keep only that which you will use.” Amidst the chilling fog, and the dank, marine-deteriorated wood, sits the shed and entry reveals an amazing scene, one that is repeated on each of the four wharves.

Each shed contains one large room and in the middle is a cutout section devoid of pilings. A rectangular walkway encircles a center section open to the water and in the water can be spied fish of many species. Investigation yields the bizarre discovery that each shed sits over a reef and that each reef is of a different depth. Subterranean lights, of unknown origin, give view deep into the depths. Lining the walls of the shed are cabinets filled with antique rods, reels and terminal tackle, all seemingly in perfect working order and matched perfectly for the species to be found in that shed. Large iceboxes, filled with ice and bait are found near the entryway.

The first shed sits over fairly shallow water and the fishing yielded up perch, strange sculpin, greenling, cabezon, Irish lord, wolf eel and other such shallow-water species. The next shed was seemingly over water about 60 feet in depth and yielded these and additional deeper-water fish such as blue and black rockfish, widow rockfish and large lingcod. The next shed and reef revealed water approximately 120 feet in depth while the fourth shed contained water over 300 feet in depth.

In each shed you were presented a fishing area of about 20 by 30 feet and to catch a fish you would have to use fairly heavy tackle to avoid the pilings that supported the wharf on the outer edges of the “fishing hole.” Encrusted with huge mussels and sea life eager to grab hold of a line, the ensemble would quickly sever any lines that were carelessly allowed to reach the pilings.

Lowering a line yielded immense fish many of which would have been of record size. The problem was simply having heavy enough tackle and being able to wrench the fish to the surface. No problem in the first two sheds but a terrible problem indeed when hooking the seventy-pound lingcod, thirty-pound yelloweyes, one hundred pound skilfish and monstrous halibut weighing several hundred pounds. Hard enough on a boat, near impossible while standing stationary on the narrow walkways. Frustration what is thy name to be presented such miracle fish only to be unable to bring them up and over the railing?

After time the sheer size of the fish, coupled with the unreal nature of the experience began to sink in and I am content to watch the fish swarm under the liquid surface of this unworldly bay. Was there a message to this scene and if so, what was the message? To have such numbers of world record fish available but to not even be able to land or measure and record their size seemed fruitless. But what use are records, is it not better to let the fish live? And what is the achievement of catching such fish when presented in such a manner. In fact it would be more of a measurement of the angler who is unable to land fish in such a setting.

As for the village? There is no such fjord on the northern California coast even if it is called The Lost Coast. There are a few old, abandoned, and falling down sea towns, but none that would match the wonders of this mystery-town. And why, as I left the village and began the steep assent up the hill, did the fog once again seem to move in and close off its very existence?


The third dream was less unsettling but still a contrast to geography, as we know it. My maps show that California connects to Oregon, which connects to Washington, which connects to Canada. But not in this strange new world and the geographical data infesting my dreams. Instead California ended as a peninsula of sorts with Oregon sharing the peninsula to the north and Washington sitting across a huge bay to the east.

Leaving the redwoods, heading northeast, brought me to a number of small Oregon coastal towns but few had piers from which to fish. All did offer hospitality but again and again I was told I would need to visit the eastern side of the bay—in Washington—before I would find the piers and type of fishing I sought. Eventually I did indeed travel a narrow but nearly hour-long bridge that rode just a short distance above the waves of the huge but placid bay

On the Washington side of the water were several small fishing villages, most of which contained fishing piers even if typically small and decrepit in appearance when compared to those in California. Of course I had to try those piers but as might be expected the variety and success depended upon the conditions found at each town. Several of the small towns were located at the mouths of tidal estuaries and, as such, typically had sandy or muddy bottoms and the main fish were often species such as sole and flounder, not forgetting some amazing numbers of small smelt and herring which apparently appeared seasonally in vociferous hoards. Anglers would line the piers snagging several smelt at a time on small bait leaders. Some seemed to abuse the fishery by netting the smelt with long handled nets but apparently even that practice did not diminish the numbers as such practices were common and legal. As far as sport fish, the salmonoid family was well represented by several different species of salmon as well as cutthroat trout although some of the fish caught from the piers were the smaller juvenile fish that had to be returned due to their size. Dependent upon water depth, a few piers did present some of the larger sharks as well as that nuisance of the sea—dogfish—in almost unbelievable numbers.

Better fishing was found at several villages along the northern slope that fronted deep-water inlets. In some locations the towns were built on the sides of mountains that seemed to disappear down into the depths of Davy Jones’ mighty realm and it was in such localities that the best fishing took place. One small village was particularly haphazard in appearance, due apparently to an earthquake that had occurred many years before. Luckily the wharf at the town extended out close to a thousand feet and with good cast an angler could reach water nearly 80 feet deep in depth. In addition a series of reefs appeared to parallel the south side of the wharf, a condition dangerous to boats wanting to use that side of the wharf, but the reefs were fish attracting phenomenon’s that led to some fantastic fishing. Large rockfish and greenlings—of many different varieties, were available. Cabezon, Irish lords and lingcod also frequented these waters and it was common to see an angler hook a smaller fish only to have one of the larger hitchhiker lings grab hold and refuse to let go until the surface of the water—if then. Most prized though were the barndoors, the large halibut which would make an annual appearance in the spring. Fish approaching two hundred-pounds had been caught from the pier although for every monster flattie landed, twenty-five more would be lost to the pilings or adjacent reef. Big tackle, big bait and big fish were the norm and it seemed a fishery unique and unparalled although also somewhat reminiscent of the scene I had experienced at the wharves of the Lost Coast. Nevertheless, these conditions seemed somewhat normal and plausible so were less troubling to the mind.

The fourth and final dream is perhaps the most upsetting if only because it ends so abruptly and lacks conclusion. There was one more beacon to the north, Alaska, a land long rumored to offer Nirvana to fisherman. In many ways though it is also a strange and mysterious land. To reach Alaska required a journey over a bridge but this was a bridge that surly could not exist, a bridge that would dwarf the mighty Golden Gate or even the Øresund Bridge that links Denmark and Sweden. The bridge soared between an archipelago of islands that stretched from Washington to Alaska. The bridge was white with an almost eerie beauty, as though thousands and thousands of marbleized ivory stones were laid end-to-end and side-to-side to produce more a monument than a bridge. The cost would be unimaginable, as would the physics needed to design such a bridge, a bridge that had to withstand torrential downpours of rain, snow, ice and hurricane-like winds. The bridge spanned nearly thirty miles of water before touching down on the first island. Soon after, another span soared for twenty miles before the next island and on and on the bridge went touching down on five islands over a ninety-mile length. Between the islands the bridge soared to a height of several hundred feet which at times would produce a feeling of flying in the clouds instead of driving on a bridge.

As for the ride itself, at times there was a light rain but almost always it was followed by bright sunlight and rainbows too numerous to count. Only occasionally could I see the surface down below but somehow I knew it contained treacherous straits that had ruined many a ship, waters deep and cold, strong currents, jarring eddies and hazardous reefs. At times one would glimpse mighty Poe-like whirlpools resembling those of the Saltstraumen in the Skjerstad fjord, Norway, maelstroms that suck in whatever flotsam and jetsam is present in the water. I wonder: do the pools also engulf the life in the water? For some reason I am reminded of the Norse version of the end times and the epic battle between mighty Thor and Jörmungandr, the sea-serpent (or “worm”) that is coiled around Midgard, our mortal plane.

A few vistas gave witness down below of vast schools of fish followed by Orcas and other specie of whale too numerous to chart. But for the most part the scene is simply one of beautiful clouds; I seem to be up above whatever forces are clashing down below. If indeed that clash is the epic one between chaos and order, as predicted in the legends, it is happening out of my view. But strange was the absence of other traffic; I seemed to have the bridge to myself but how was that possible?

The sea under the final section of bridge was visible but unsettling—a sea savage with large waves, pieces of ice, and a foggy atmosphere reminiscent of some mad chemist’s lab. Surprisingly, the last span ended with egress onto a glacial shelf of stunningly beautiful blue ice. A treacherous road of sorts led over the ice but journey on the road led only to more ice and even worse conditions of weather. At a certain point further travel was futile but it also seemed impossible to turn back. Fishing was at an end and so would be life unless conditions were to change. And there, the dream would end.

Ab actu ad posse valet consecutio, from what has been to what may be. Is that the question? Each night brings these dreams and I seem able to sleep less and less. Instead, I awaken, almost always covered in sweat. Something isn’t clear, I am on that white and icy road unable to advance but also unable to return. What should I do—and what does it mean? The lack of finality and conclusion is what seems most to disturb and it brings continuous disharmony to me. It has done so for four long years. I think that I can never be truly at peace until I am able to see the end of that dream.

May 11, 2007: The trip is proceeding in a wonderful fashion with decent weather and decent fishing. The Eureka piers produced—as always—while Trinidad was better than normal. Even caught a nice-sized blue ling and a gnarly looking little Irish lord from the end of the wharf. Decided to spend the night here near Stone Lagoon. Perhaps the cool and soothing location will prevent the dreams that have once again begun to make sleeping at night a vigil devoid of rest or peace. It appears that I have begun to sleepwalk during these dreams, an alarming new aspect of these dreams to my wife. To date it does not seem to have been a problem but Pat wants me to consult a doctor when I return from this fishing trip. The dreams themselves seem to be turning into nightmares; each night’s edition ending once again with the question of what is next. To have such beautiful beginnings but then to stop with the unanswered question of where I am going, and what will be next, seems unfair. During the night the question itself isn’t asked, instead a visceral attachment seems to grasp my soul and I must struggle to remain calm. But the dreams continue unabated and unanswered—as always. Perhaps tonight that will change, I will have my questions answered and peace will return?


That was the last entry into the journal of Mr. Jones and it seems to coincide with the date of his disappearance. As already reported, no body has been found and everything seemed to be in order in his truck and with his various clothing and fishing equipment. Steps did lead down to the lagoon but although no returning steps were noted there is also no sign of disturbance or any type of struggle. A missing person notice has been given to the California Highway Patrol and it is hoped that Mr. Jones will eventually be located.

Officer: Ted Matthews

May 14, 2007


Well-Known Member
Ken said,
"I am not a fiction writer..."
Well, good grief, Ken, what kind of a fisherman doesn't dabble in a bit of storytelling?🤣
Seriously, great story. Loved the Poe intro.
I gotta say when I reached a certain age, my dreams kicked into overdrive. Not sure what it all means but it's been interesting.