Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A long trail with a very long history

How the Oregon Coast Trail came into existence is a pretty interesting story. It started as the brainchild of a University of Oregon geography professor back in 1959. But the OCT owes its existence to Oregon's first parks superintendent, who during the Great Depression acquired many of the coast's major headlands for the public, and crews from the Civilian Conservation Corps began building trails over them. And with half the OCT route on beaches, credit for the trail needs to start with Governor Oswald West designating all of Oregon's beaches public highways in 1913.

But wait: people have been walking the Oregon Coast Trail--or something like it--for as long as people have been living on the Oregon Coast, right? Which raises two questions: how long have people been on the Oregon Coast, and how long as the Oregon Coast been, well, the Oregon Coast?

Seem like simple questions, but they turn out to go right to the heart of the biggest mysteries in American archaeology. And the most likely answers have changed radically in the past decade or so.

I have put together a talk exploring all that--the history and prehistory of the OCT--that I'm giving several places around Oregon this winter/spring, and I would love to see friends and meet new hikers there. I'll have copies of Day Hiking: Oregon Coast available to sell, but all these events (except the Cascade Ruck on Feb. 27) are free.

In brief (click here for details):
Eugene Feb. 3
Portland Feb. 10
Astoria Feb. 18
Cascade Locks Feb. 27
Cannon Beach March 17
Tillamook May 15

No comments:

Post a Comment