OCT | One Week To Go

@#%*! is gettin’ real now!

This time next week, we ought to be well into the first day of our big trip down the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT). All the prep work will be over (and hopefully done). All the little details we’ve sweated over the last few months probably won’t matter as much as the next mile in front of us. And ideally I’m keeping up with my promise to take lots of pictures and blog every day. Time will tell.

Dozens of friends have asked what the heck we’re doing and truthfully I’ve found it hard to put into simple terms. We’re basically walking from Washington to California, following the coast of Oregon. We start in Fort Stevens State Park (west of Astoria) and finish in Crissy Park State Park on the California border. I’ve included some stats later in this post but the short version is that we have 22 days to cover 382-425 miles, depending on the route we ultimately choose. We’ve gone back and forth on the best label for what we’re doing. It’s certainly not a race. We’re either thru-hiking, end-to-end hiking, walking or backpacking. In all cases, our goal is to complete the whole thing entirely on foot. Except for the places we have to ferry across rivers and estuaries.

The OCT isn’t as well known or as long as the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) or AT (Appalachian Trail) but we’re expecting it to be quite a challenge regardless. For us, the OCT is an adventure that a group of relatively “normal” folks with jobs and families could attempt without taking a 6-month sabbatical. I have enormous respect for the brave souls that attempt those other cross-country adventures. Maybe after this, we’ll be next in line. Or you might find all my camping gear on eBay! Again, time will tell.

Below, you’ll see what our dining room table looks like as we assemble all the little bits and pieces that’ll go into our packs. Trust me, that’s not everything. I’ve got my sleeping bag and tent slung across the couch just off-camera. And no food yet. But it all fits in my  pack at around 30 pounds, which is comfortable for me, mule that I am.

 I’ve included some bits of trivia about our journey below. It’ll be interesting to compare these to what actually happens.

  • Days hiking = 22
  • Total miles (official) = 382
  • Average per day = 17+ miles
  • Longest day = 25 miles
  • Shortest day = 10 miles
  • Average June precipitation = 6-13 days (2-3 inches)
  • Average temps = 61-67° F (High) 48-51° F (Low)
  • Days with beer = All of them! (hopefully)
Yes, I’ll be trying to hit every independent brewery in sight and carrying a small growler for camp each night. Depending on where we are, the OCT travels through many towns along the way, so we’re not expecting to ever be far from provisions. But time will tell how that really goes. 
God willing, my next post should be Day 0 as we fly to Portland and drive to Astoria before starting the next day. Of course, we could come to our senses before then. That’s never actually happened before. But it could. You’ll just have to wait and see.
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