While in Oregon the past two months, I tried to read just Oregon books, including Don Berry's novels set in the 1850s, "Trask" and "Moontrap," both enjoyable. But the two hiking books read were William Sullivan's "Listening for Coyote," published in the late-1980s, and Bob Welch's more-recent "Cascade Summer," from 2013. Both were great reads.
Sullivan, who has written several Oregon guidebooks that everyone here on the forum from OR is probably very familiar with, hiked solo in late summer of '85 from Cape Blanco on the southern Oregon coast up to Hell's Canyon on the northeast border, a distance of 1,350 miles.
Bob Welch, a well-known newspaper columnist from Eugene (and a sort of clean-cut version of Miami's Dave Barry -- but more adventurous), hiked with his brother-in-law on the PCT from California to the Columbia River a couple of years ago.
They are two totally different books with two different styles, but I felt they both had an endearing common thread: they were written by Oregonians absolutely in love with the beauty -- with almost everything -- of their state.
I've only made 4 trips or so to the state prior to my extended stay, and I am impressed -- generally -- with the many residents I've had the opportunity to talk to. So many of them embrace the natural element there that at times I'm wondering what gene the rest of us are missing.
What I enjoyed most of Welch's book was that author and reader are about the same age -- so I felt as if I were walking in those hiking shoes (that he'd snipped the sides by his little toes off of) with him. The camaraderie of him and his companion, the doctor, shows true friendship (interestingly, they married sisters.)
One needs to read "Cabin Fever" to really appreciate Sullivan's hiking journal (which I have.) He was spending his summer's in a cabin in the Coast Range, trying to squeeze out a living as a writer when the idea for this book hit him. And he left his wife and young daughter and hit the trail to do it. It was just as easy to relate to Sullivan as Welch, because we're the same age -- he was a much younger man when he took off across the state in '85.
Both their books are worth finding and reading. I am a bit partial to Sullivan, since we've used his book, "100 Hikes: Oregon Coast & Coast Range," while at the Coast. He is the reason we were able to hike in the Cummins Creek Wilderness, and do the Sweet Creek Falls hike in April (a short video here):
Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:
Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!