For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 17, 2004
Contact: Al LePage, executive director, National Coast Trail Association / 503-335-3876
Hikers to Reach Columbia River at "Cape D"
On 1800-Mile Journey along "West Coast Trail"
Two long-distance backpackers will arrive at Cape Disappointment after hiking the 200-mile "Washington Coast Trail" in their attempt to be the first to complete, in one continuous trip, America's West Coast Trail!
The Washington section of a special event, the "West Coast Trail End to End, 1800 Miles Dancing with the Tide," which began on the northwest tip of Washington at Cape Flattery on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 8th is expected to reach the Columbia River at the southwest tip of Cape Disappointment on Sunday, June 20th. Nate Olive of Atlanta, Georgia and partner Sarah Janes of Slidell, Louisiana will have done the 200-mile Washington Coast Trail section in their attempt to hike at total of 1800 miles along the length of the West Coast Trail. They plan to eventually reach the Mexican border and complete their trek over the next four to five months. The journey seeks to promote public awareness of this long-distance trail, and serve as the basis to create a book, a photo journal, tentatively called Dancing the Tidal Line, to provide a personal account of the overall trail experience. Logistic, informational, and media outreach assistance is being provided by the National Coast Trail Association, a non-profit that has focused their efforts on the development of the West Coast Trail for some 9 years. The event is officially registered as a National Trails Day 2004 event with the American Hiking Society. Those who want to follow their progress through journal notes and photos from beginning to end may visit the website trailjournals.com/westcoast .
"It hard to go from flattery to disappointment," begins Al LePage, NCTA executive director, "but that's exactly what Nate and Sarah will have done when they reach the Columbia River after hiking 200 miles from Washington's northwest tip at Cape Flattery to its southwest corner of Cape Disappointment. I'm sure they won't be disappointed when they arrive to follow in the footsteps and learn about Lewis and Clark as they hike the trails and visit the newly renovated interpretive center at Cape Disappointment State Park."
The West Coast Trail is envisioned as a continuous recreational hiking trail along the Pacific coast of the United States traveling the entire length of the Washington, Oregon, and California coastlines. Significant portions of this trail system already exist, with new linkages being developed every year. The development of the West Coast Trail has been the primary focus of the National Coast Trail Association, a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon, since 1995. The West Coast Trail should not be confused with another long-distance trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, which is about 150 miles inland and travels along the spine of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada's south into the California desert.
The "Washington Coast Trail" is the 200-mile section of the West Coast Trail from Cape Flattery to the Columbia River at Cape Disappointment. About 190 miles of this 200-mile hiking trail system already exist, with new linkages being developed every year. The Makah Indian Nation developed an important linkage to Shi Shi beach in 2003. The Quinault Indian Nation's beach pass program represents an important contribution to the Washington Coast Trail section as well. The route travels through the Makah Indian Nation, the "Olympic Coast Strip" in Olympic National Park, the Quinault Indian Nation, and finally south along the many public beaches south to Cape Disappointment. Hikers cross Gray's Harbor by the existing passenger ferry from Ocean Shores to Westport. They connect across Willapa Bay from Tokeland Marina to the Long Beach Peninsula by arranging their own shuttle by land or travel by water around the bay itself. The National Coast Trail Association is working on the Washington Coast Trail with Washington State Parks, who agreed to partner with the organization, endorse the overall concept, and officially recognize those trail sections in areas directly under their jurisdiction.
"Nate and Sarah are sort of like Lewis and Clark," notes LePage, "as they are making the first attempt to continuously travel a major stretch of the United States, not east to west as the captains did, but from north to south directly along the West Coast Trail. As a matter of fact, Nate is actually documenting the entire trip, not in drawings as the famed explorers did, but in photos, and is also keeping a journal to be developed into a book of the experience. Maybe it could be called 'The Journal of the Nate and Sarah Expedition?' No, I do suppose that's going a bit too far," adds LePage.
Nate Olive and Sarah Janes both hiked the 2,650-mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to the Canadian border in 2003. Nate also hiked the entire "2,000-mile" length of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Greorgia in 2002, and Sarah joined him for 400 miles, during which they acquired the "trail names" of "Tha Wookie" and "Island Mama." Both are experienced field research staff working under recreation ecologist Jeff Marion of Virginia Tech. Olive just recently earned his M.A. degree in Recreation Ecology and Leisure Studies from the University of Georgia and hopes to explore exchanges between nature and human interactions, both past and present, during the trip. Sarah has a degree in anthropology with a pre-med minor from the University of Georgia and is a certified wilderness first responder able to deal with medical emergencies in the wilderness.
Al LePage, founder and executive director of the National Coast Trail Association, apparently was the first person ever to have hiked the entire West Coast Trail. However, he did so on three separate occasions, and not in one continuous trip. In 1988 he hiked the 400-mile Oregon Coast Trail in about 1 month, in 1992 the 200-mile Washington Coast Trail section in 2 weeks, and in 1996 he tackled the 1,200-mile length of the California Coastal Trail in 3 and a half months, averaging about 100 miles per week on each trip.
The National Coast Trail Association is a non-profit trail organization whose vision is the National Coast Trail, a 10,000-mile plus interconnected land and water-based trail system around the entire United States. Our mission is "Keeping the Coast for Everyone" through advocacy, education, and action for trails, public access and coastal preservation. Our program includes trail development, education, and conservation. Our focus is the development of the West Coast Trail, comprised of the Washington, Oregon and California Coastal Trails.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE BELOW
· Photos may be cropped and color-balanced as needed.
are copyright 2004 by Nate Olive
AND photographs used should be credited to Nate Olive
· Images were scanned for print quality.
Nate Olive is proud to present one stretch of America's
West Coast Trail along Olympic National Park's coastal strip.
Sarah Janes "boulder hops" an especially rugged section of
America's West Coast Trail along Olympic National Park's coastal strip.
The West Coast Trail travels up and over rocky headlands through
temperate rainforests as it continues south to the Columbia River and beyond.
The West Coast Trail not only offers spectacular natural beauty,
one also encounters history and culture as this native canoe,
taking a well-deserved rest, clearly illustrates.
It's a long way to Mexico -- some 1800 miles -- as one walks south along
America's West Coast Trail. This stretch of beach is part of the northern stretch of the 200-mile Washington Coast Trail section from Cape Flattery to Cape Disappointment.