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TedB
2003-04-09, 01:53
Listening for Coyote - A Walk Across Oregon's Wilderness

by William L. Sullivan

Found this one sitting on the shelf at the library. I thumbed through, and decided to take it home. Read the book over the weekend. Great book, really enjoyed the story. In 1985, Bill spent 60 days walking from the ocean to the Idaho border, and the story focuses on the people he meets during his journey. My favorite description was of the elk hunter who only uses a bow, and dreams that if he were reincarnated, he would hope to come back as an elk.

From the prologue:


Poring over maps that night, I realized the Old Oregon Trail is now overlain by an interstate freeway. The adventure of that mighty western route is gone. But scattered across the map were islands of recently designated Wilderness I didn't recognize. Grassy Knob? Black Canyon? What's more, I saw a string of them forming a scraggly W-shaped line from the Pacific Ocean to the Snake River's Hells Canyon.

Surely, I thought, that meandering line would be the wildest route across Oregon. It would traverse four mountain ranges and eighteen designated Wilderness Areas. It would lead through fog-bound rain forests, windswept glacial cirques, and sunbaked desert canyons. It would extend for more than 1,300 miles, from Oregon's western shore at Cap Blanco to the state's easternmost point in the depths of Hells Canyon.

To me, it was irresistible. If the spirit of American wilderness still lived, I would find it hiking that route.