|In Oswald West State Park, south of Arch Cape|
On Jan. 12 of this year I received the following email from Patti of LaCrosse, Wisconsin:
"Thanks for your blog, book and all that you've put out there to advance the ease of hiking the OCT. I've been poring over your blog. My husband and I visited Gold Beach 3 years ago and completed multiple day hikes during that week; I was smitten and vowed to return. Now, on the verge of turning 55 and having made a major life change, I've been mulling the possibility of thru-hiking the OCT toward the end of summer 2015. My question is this: am I completely crazy to even be thinking of doing such a thing? While I've day hiked 14 miles at a stretch (and stumbled toward the end!) that's a very different animal than hiking day in and out 10 to 15 miles for a month or more. The up side is that I don't need to be anywhere, nor do I have a schedule, so I could adjust the hike accordingly… Any words of wisdom would be appreciated as I contemplate the adventure. "
We corresponded a few more times. Then eight months later, on Sept. 8, I heard from Patti again:
"A quick email to let you know that this afternoon I finished thru-hiking the OCT, from north to south. What an indescribable experience. So many contrasts, just like the coast itself. A life-changing experience."
|Early morning at Carter Lake, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area|
Yesterday she sent me some photos. “The hike literally changed me,” she writes. I’ll let her photos continue to tell the story.
|Between Thomas Creek and Indian Sands, Boardman State Scenic Corridor|
|Meeting her ride home at Crissey Field Welcome Center--the end of the trail|