Last week, the author of the recently-released book, "Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon," Eli Boschetto, rolled into Bend for a talk at Roundabout Books. The book is one of several installments broken down by location (Oregon, Washington, etc.), with book sections further broken into "manageable sections" that people can do in a few days or a week.
We sat down with Boschetto during his recent visit.
Source Weekly: We've had a lot of snow this year. What's the hiking season looking like?
Eli Boschetto: July is notoriously horrible for bugs, but usually, things melt out June, you can hit the trail July, fight off a few bugs... by August it's gorgeous. Prior to this year, the summers we've had were all heat wave and drought years, so we were hitting the trail as early as May. It's been really weird the last several years, and it's definitely not keeping with the norm.
SW: Let's talk about the approach and the audience for this book.
EB: I've made a trail across the state completely doable for a typical hiker. And I think one of the things people don't realize is that you think about the PCT and its high elevation trail that traverses the spine of the Cascades... but almost entirely through the state of Oregon you can access the PCT by major highways that traverse east/west over the Cascades.
SW: People around here talk a lot about trail overuse—and with books like "Wild" out there, it seems to be on people's minds even more. What do you say to them?
EB: Even here in Oregon, the PCT is 455 miles long, and so that's a long stretch.
Based on a statistic that we did when I was back at WTA (Washington Trails Association) the majority of hikers by like 85 or so percent are just day trippers, and they're going from a trailhead to a lake, meadow, viewpoint, whatever, and then they're going back. If you get out past that popular destination, then the crowds just fade away and all of a sudden you're like, oh, I have this all to myself.
When I came down here, a lot of people were telling me just how crowded the trails are getting around here, and I was like, yeah, go south, go hike in the Diamond Peak area, because I was down there twice for doing the book, and for the most part I was all by myself down there.
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon
Section Hiking from Donomore Pass to Bridge of the Gods
By Eli Boschetto
Available in bookstores everywhere
Also check out Boschetto's continually-updated website on PCT trail conditions and advice at PCTOregon.com.