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Welcome to the Ragen Family Website!

This website is a home-grown family website, designed and built on our free time. Some of the pages on this website may be of interest to a broad community. Other pages will likely be of interest to just members of our extended families. I post highlights every couple of months in our bi-monthly newsletter -- new material on the site as well as other items of interest.

Family history. This section, which is what the website was launched around, includes pages on the history of the Ragen and Munk families. Among many other topics, this section includes the complete memoirs, My Century and My Many Lives, of my grandfather, Frank Munk.

In addition to three different trail diaries by our family of their trip to Oregon via the Oregon Trail, we have recently been adding the full text of Fifty Years in Oregon, a book by T.T. Geer, a former Governor of Oregon, on the early history of Oregon with a focus on politics.

Wildlife and nature photos: We showcase pictures from the San Juan Islands and the Pacific Northwest. Our wildlife photos feature bald eagles, killer whales, red foxes, black-tailed deer, and more. We've also added an online storefront to purchase the best of our photos; a few of our photos have been converted into pen and ink drawings.

Using a new camera (Canon 10D) with higher resolution and a stronger zoom capability, we have steadily added more high-definition pictures to our wildlife and nature photo albums. The most recent picture that we've posted is a series of eighteen photographs from Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. The thumbnail at right shows a small eruption from Steamboat Geyser but we also have photographs of buffalo, bighorn sheep, and other scenes from the parks.

Some of our best pictures include:


"Misty Mountain Air" was named a Photo of the Day by the Digital Photo Contest website in December of 2004.


Wildlife photography albums from San Juan Island including American bald eagles, killer whale photos, red foxes, black-tailed deer, and images of other native wildlife.


Landscape photographs


Still Life Images


Lightning pictures


Travel photography from Borrego Springs


Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons

At the end of 2005, we added the end of year photography buying guides from PCPhoto, Popular Imaging, and PC Magazine as well as Book of the Month/Year lists from Outdoor Photographer, Outdoor Photography and Shutterbug magazines.

Recommended book lists are largely based on our current book reading lists as well as other life-long interests such as wine tasting, mountain climbing and outdoor adventures, science fiction, and more.

New Book Reviews


Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival by David Roberts


The Beckoning Silence by Joe Simpson


Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park by Tim Cahill


Rock Jocks, Wall Rats and Hang Dogs: Rock Climbing on the Edge of Reality by John Long


The winners of the 2005 Boardman-Tasker Memorial Award and the 2005 Banff Mountain Book Festival Awards have been named. Check out these other award winners:

2005 American Alpine Club Awards


2004 National Outdoor Book Award

Notes on wines, wineries and grapes. We share thoughts on some of our favorite wines as well as some of our favorite Internet wine stores and websites and wine books. We also detail the establishment of our backyard vineyard which we are calling Sunbreak Cellars.

Some of our most recent updates to our wine pages include:

bullet Anything with Sangiovese. We returned from a visit to Italy and brought together a broad bunch of any wine with Sangiovese it. Found a surprise winner too!

We planted Sunbreak Cellars, our backyard vineyard, in 2003. Read about the steps we took to get it started. (Updated through 2004.)

bulletWe have just added three new lists of books.
bullet Books recommended by Decanter Magazine
bullet James Beard Foundation: Best Books on Wine and Spirits
bullet Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards

We have also added a wine tasting survey to give us an improved scoring tools.

Miscellaneous topics of interest to us in our personal and professional lives. These include various papers that we have written, within our communities such as various organizations that we are involved with and other hobbies that we enjoy such as boomerangs, kites and more.

Reunion icebreakers. Ideas that we picked up from our own family reunions over the last year or two that may be helpful for your reunion.

Bottled Poetry Blog. We've started our own blog for more spontaneous publishing. Check out our comments if you have time. We're not doing a very good job of keeping this up-to-date...

So, in short, enjoy the stuff that we've posted on this website. If you like what you see or are curious about some of the articles that we have posted, please complete our feedback form or send us a quick note to us. If you're interested on how we have built this site, then check out the details.

Site maps:

bulletSite map of our family history, book recommendations, and other information
bulletSite map of our photography and wine webs -- and our photo galleries

This page was last updated on 09/03/06.

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