In the far reaches of SE Oregon, there's a trail that spans over 700 miles through the Oregon desert. On this episode of The By Land Podcast, I'm joined the Oregon Desert Trail Coordinator, Renee Patrick, to talk about what the trail offers, how it began, and what adventurers can expect to see in this incredible high desert landscape.
Renee is not exactly a newb when it comes to backpacking. She is a highly accomplished long distance hiker who's resume includes the Triple Crown (AT, CDT, PCT) and a number of other trails to include the Oregon Desert Trail. Renee and I discuss not only the mission of the Oregon Desert Trail, but also how Renee approaches backpacking, what it means to her, and how she came to do what she does now as a profession.
You're going to love hearing from Renee about backpacking and the Oregon Desert Trail. It was a pleasure spending time on the phone with her and I found myself eager to get back into the hills once again after listening to her talk about the thing she loves the most.
On a personal note, I feel like this episode really embodies what this podcast is about. We cover so many great topics that I think there's something in this one for everyone out there.
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- Introduction to Renee and the Oregon Desert Trail
- Renee’s background prior to being the Trail Coordinator for the ODT
- What the Oregon Desert Trail offers and its history
- How the ODT compares to other trails in the US
- How Renee began backpacking and what made her start long distance backpacking
- How Thru Hiking has impacted Renee’s backcountry trips
- What Long Distance backpacking means to Renee
- How the ODT manages relationships with land owners to retain access to the trail
- Where and how to begin planning a hike of the ODT
- Renee’s thoughts on the future of hiking
- What Renee has learned about backpacking after all these years
- How Renee has changed since her first long distance trail
- The future of the Oregon Desert Trail
- How to find and support the ODT