Perennial Author Right on Schedule

May 25, 2001

This was at least Bill Sullivan’s fifth appearance in a row at an Obsidian month of May Potluck with a book on hiking in Oregon. As always in the past, the Lodge was filled to the brim, attesting to the well-deserved popularity of Bill’s presentations.

As the new title, “100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon” indicates, the book (and Bill’s talk) covers more than just hiking information. All of Eastern Oregon, from the Columbia Plateau to the Owyhee River, is covered and divided into eleven sections. The hike information in each section is preceded by a few pages of “Travel Guide”, giving information on campgrounds, lodging, historic sites, interpretive centers, etc.

The hike descriptions are enriched with information on area history, geography (present and past), flora and fauna. Coupled with the excellent photography, this makes for a very entertaining and instructive evening (and book). For example, Bill told of the rape of the land in the quest for gold; and of the tragic treatment of the native Americans. He feels that Hell’s Canyon is grander than the Grand Canyon (and harbors the longest bad road in Oregon; it took two hours to negotiate 24 miles). He suggested that calling the Wallowa Mountains the American Alps is apt, since they share identical rock and fossils with the Swiss Alps (they may have been joined as ocean crust at one time, then drifted apart via plate tectonics)!

The author believes that Eastern Oregon harbors natural wonders to match any found elsewhere in the world. This book took three years to produce and he thinks it to be his best. We can only agree and hope that he manages to come up with something else by next May to offer us.

Bep Fontana

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