Hiking in Oregon's early footsteps

Al LePage calls himself the last of the mountain-men explorers. Among his numerous achievements: hiking thousands of miles along both coasts. Come June 22nd, LePage will embark upon his most ambitious project yet. He will lead a three week hike recreating the journey that pioneer Jedediah Smith blazed across the coastlines of southern Oregon, exactly 172 years ago. Who, one might ask, is Jedediah Smith? LePage, director of the nonprofit National Coast Trail Association, explains that Smith was perhaps the greatest European explorer of the West Coast after Lewis and Clark. This hike, averaging 12 miles per day, is designed to celebrate the scenery, Smith's bravery, local history, and the culture of native Americans.

Both men and woman will be able to join one, two, or all three legs of the hike, he explained on the phone from Portland, Ore. The expedition is part of LePage's dream of creating more than 10, 000 miles of coastline trails.

See: www.coasttrails.org

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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