Photos from my Oregon Desert Trail trips so far – 425 miles of awesomeness

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I’m hiking the Oregon Desert Trail in sections this year, and will be uploading photos periodically to the Oregon Natural Desert Association Flickr page. You can see the slideshows here:

Section 25

Section 24

Section 23

Section 22

Section 21

Section 20

McDermitt Alternate

Section 18

Section 17

Section 16

Section 15

Section 12

Section 11

Section 10

Oregon Desert Trail

Oregon Desert Trail

I have an exciting development to share with you all…I’ve accepted a position as the Oregon Desert Trail Coordinator here in Bend! The 800 mile Oregon Desert Trail is one of the newest long distance trails in the country, and begins right outside of Bend  and connects a series of remote mountain ranges in the high desert of south eastern Oregon.

This is an incredible opportunity to combine everything I love doing to help shape a long trail. Ever since my friend Sage Clegg was the first to hike the ODT in 2013, I have watched with envy as other friends and hikers jump on the trail. Before I even heard about the new position I wanted to hike the ODT next. It’s exciting to be on the other side of the trail community and really be able to dive into something I am passionate about.

It will be fun to keep this blog going and share my experiences on the other side of the hike, and yes, take you with me as I hike it as well.

 

Thank YOU!

Wow, the CDTC fundraiser we put on last week was a great success! We filled the seats and raised over $1,300 for the trail. I’m grateful for friends, co-workers, and everyone who was just plain curious about these crazy people who quit their jobs to go hike across the country…again and again and again. And for all my sponsors and supporters for donating some amazing items to the raffle, thank you!

But don’t take my word for it, here some some pics (courtesy of Robert Curzon):

raffle swag

Tons of items were donated to the raffle

raffle items

This ladies package was really popular! Jewelry by Bronwen Jewelry, Sierra Sage products, Go Macro bars, Salazon Chocolate, a Purple Rain Skirt & Pro Knot card.

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Our breakfast raffle bundle had coffee & hazelnuts from Strictly Organic, Breakfast oatmeal/cereal from Straw Propeller, mugs from Stanley & a CDTC shirt!

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And the prizes keep getting better, $100 to Desperado, Stanley flask & more…

more raffle

I put everything in giant zip locks, because zip locks are GOLD on a trail!

crowd

Patagonia @ Bend was very welcoming and let us use their beautiful store for the talk.

good crowd

I shared a bit about why I hike.

three women

And invited Kim (SOL), Sage & Mary (Speedstick) to tell stories from their CDT hikes.

showing off gear

I shared all the gear that I’ll be taking on the trail.

renee umbrella

Even the bug condom!

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Raffle time!

ladies

This little pup really wanted to win the Ruffwear dog bed.

Grady won

Grady (Fun Size) won the Stanley lunch box, I expect to see him carry that on the CDT this year…

So much fun, now for the hike!!!

Finishing up the Ski Tour

January 2-3

The last two days of our New Year Ski tour we basked under blue skies.

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I watched the sunrise from our tarp for a good hour.

 

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Then chased the first traces sun…the snow was absolutely beautiful

 

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We skied around a bit.

 

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And enjoyed the stunning views.

 

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Taking a break with the best show on earth.

 

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How can I not kiss this man?

 

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The view from camp isn’t bad on the other side either.

 

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The hardest part of the whole trip was putting on cold ski boots.

 

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But all good things must come to an end.

 

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We skied out.

 

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And headed back towards Bend.

Beneath Broken Top

January 1, 2015

I can officially say I’m hiking the Continental Divide Trail THIS year!

For those that have had to wait years between thru-hikes, and for friends and family that have heard me go on and on about the CDT in 2015 know what a milestone that is. Three more months of work baby!

Back to the trip…last night we skied about three miles before veering off the main trail to make camp in a small clearing near Todd Lake. We opened one of our beers to toast the New Year (and also lessen the burden in what had become a regrettably heavy pack). For some reason I had grabbed my new Western Mountaineering Ultralight sleeping bag (20 degree) instead of my -20 degree bag, and though the temps hovered around the 20s, my feet were still cold throughout the night. It’s hard to sleep with cold feet. But inspiration struck and I put on the down booties I had packed. Much better.

In the morning we lingered over coffee before hitting the snow.

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The day was crystal clear.

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And we were lucky to follow tracks most of the way up Todd Ridge.

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Our lunch spot proved our first good glimpse of Broken Top.

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We made sure to fuel our bodies with the proper nutrition.

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And I had to rock the hikertrash hat!

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Unfortunately temps rose just over freezing and the sunny patches of snow started to get sticky.

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Madness! I stopped to scrape and wax about 10 times in the next hour or two.

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And we finally called it good in a sunny meadow with a magnificent view of Broken Top.

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And celebrated with another tasty brew.

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The snow up here was more wind blown and between the stashes of pow were thick icy layers.

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We set up our new Hyperlite mid and dug in a freaking awesome camp complete with snow sofa and table.

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Peak to peak.

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As the day came to a close we enjoyed a brilliant sunset.

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And as the light faded we kept busy with a rousing game of UNO.