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Begins: Sep 1, 2016
Date: Tue, Aug 30th, 2016
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Bigfoot Trail Day 0
Phew, it's been fun and hectic since finishing the GDT 10 days ago. I had a
couple days to chill in Prince George and get my shit together and then
flew into Portland where good friend, famous trail blogger and quite the
hard core hiker, Wired picked me up. This is the same Wired whose GDT blog
helped me immensely on my hike and where I pretty much found everything to
be harder than she described!
We spent the last week hiking the easy, fun and scenic 95 mile Wonderland
Trail. She's got a great write-up at her sitewww.walkingwithwired.com.
I spent about 36 hours in Portland trying to get a bunch of future planning
done and also trying to not drive her crazy since in 2 weeks she leaves for
Australia and New Zealand to hike all the cool stuff I hiked in 2010 and
2012, including the Te Araroa.
So next up is the Bigfoot Trail. This is the creation of Michael Kauffmann,
a guy who seems really into the biodiversity of trees. He's got this trail
set up with a checklist to identify like 38 different conifers! The trail
is about 360 miles and heads through the Klamath mountains of northwest
California. Think east of the ocean and west of the Sierras. It's a mixture
of trail, no trail, terrible trail, old dirt roads and some pavement.
Frankly, I don't know a ton more than that. Not very many people have hiked
it. Like maybe 10? 20? I think Sage was the first thru hiker a few years
ago (other than Michael).
I'll be going against the trail notes and hiking southbound, the notes are
written the other way. It works better for me, I'll start closer to where I
am now and end closer to where I want to be. I'm super, super excited about
starting on the ocean in Redwoods state/national park. I haven't been there
since I was 13 and really want to see those massive trees again. Instead of
taking the Greyhound from Portland, I decided to rent a car which should
give me a day to poke around as a tourist tomorrow and then the BFT itself
walks through part of the Park.
As for data, I've got the BFT maps set, trail notes and gps file. I've
heard all are a bit suspect, but will get the job done I hope. The maps for
some reason were done at like a 50k+ scale which seems like an odd
decision. They are very nice but not so great for pure navigation. Paired
with a GPS track this should be fine but I've heard that maybe the track
isn't exactly perfect but maybe that's not true. And I've heard the trail
notes are a little vague at times too. But hey, it's early in its creation
and I can't and don't expect perfection and frankly, this feels
adventurous! Im sure the effort Michael has put it is enormous and it's
always easy to look at the finished product and be unfairly critical. Also,
Fireweed hiked this the last 2 years and had a nice document of water and
trail notes which is much appreciated.
Beyond all that I'm not sure what to expect. Maybe 20 days or so. A few
resupplies. Not sure about the weather and hopefully water had hung around
late in the season. Oh, I'm usually pretty allergic to poison ivy so
walking through crazy poison oak on the BFT might be problematic......
In the initial stage of development, the Bigfoot Trail is a 400 mile hiking trail in northern California. The trail begins in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness and ends in Redwood National Park at the Pacific Ocean near Crescent City, California. A major focus along the trail is conifer diversity, passing 32 species. The route crosses six wilderness areas, one National Park, and one State Park. Northwest Californias Klamath Mountains foster one of the most diverse temperate coniferous forests on Earth and this route is a celebration of that biodiversity. Learn more: www.bigfoottrail.org
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