Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Back in Business

Love this suspension bridge on the trail up the north side of Cape Lookout.

Hey folks, I got locked out of the blog for awhile (for technical reasons that are boring) but I'm back in and eager to share a bunch of info. I had hoped to have a detailed mile-by-mile guide to share in time for a couple of April hikers I know of to use, but that's probably not going to happen. But be looking for the following and more, coming soon:

New official interactive map coming. It was supposed to be out in January, or February for sure.  Oregon Coast Visitors Association has taken it on. I haven't seen it yet, and frankly I have some doubts about how thorough.accurate it will be (mainly because they didn't consult with me about it, seriously!), but it has to be better than the old official Oregon State Parks map. As soon as I hear that it has launched, I'll share.

Camp Rilea: This can be a huge problem on Day One of the OCT if you happen to start on the wrong day: National Guard camp at around Mile 7 has begun stopping hikers (at gunpoint) if the military happens to be doing live fire training (or anything else that they think would be more fun/easier if they could clear the beach of people). This has become a huge issue that several of us are working on; not only are state parks and Oregon Military Department not providing the notification they agreed to provide (in a 2015 agreement), but it's clearly a violation of the Oregon Beach Bill. Long term: hoping to get this agreement canned or at least seriously amended. Short term: I plan to post instructions for how to deal with this if it happens to you.

CoastWalk Oregon: I was going to post about this wonderful event again, but it filled up this year in something like two weeks. But keep it in mind for the future if you want a fun three-day intro to the OCT, and for a good cause. CWO will start over at Mile 0 (Columbia River) in 2020 (or maybe 2019). In the future I'll be better about giving advance notice for when registration opens (now that I'm back to blog access).

The big picture: Overall there is a huge surge of interest in the OCT by state agencies in a position to finesse it. Maybe the huge surge in hikers in summer 2017 is one reason, but also it seems like the OCT's time has just arrived. State agencies (more than one) are taking a serious look at gaps that need to be filled and are working on solutions. Certain gaps are getting real attention, finally (like the horror show of highway shoulder walking from Cascade Head to Lincoln City). I'll share as I learn more. Everything takes more time than it should, IMO. But I see real progress on the near horizon, which is great.

England bound! I plan to hike the Coast to Coast Trail in June (St. Bees to Robin Hood's Bay). I mention it only because I think it may provide a good model for how self-guided inn-to-inn hiking (possibly with luggage transfer) could be done on the Oregon Coast as well. I'll share applicable lessons learned.

Mile-by-mile guide (more detailed and easier to use than what's in my book): One of these days I'll get it done (just in time to update it, no doubt). We'll see. In any case, please buy my book (Day Hiking: Oregon Coast), which is about the best thru-hike guide currently available.