OUTGOING – Sage Clegg, 33, is trying to be first to bag the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail.
Clegg ranks among the fastest female ultralight backpackers.
She left her home in Bend on June 5 and is en route to Idaho, hoping to finish by July 20 before the desert broils.
The Oregon Natural Desert Association created the concept of the desert trail to raise awareness for desert protection.
Staff worked two years mapping the route, linking trails, roads and corridors through desert jewels, including the Badlands, Hart Mountain, Steens Mountain and the Owyhee canyonlands. Still, Clegg will have to connect dots as she bicycles the flatter, boring sections and walks the other 600 miles.
A support team mails food packages to for her resupply at Frenchglen, Fields, McDermitt and Rome, a plan used during the 18 months she needed to hike 8,000 miles of the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian national scenic trails.
Clegg carries 12 pounds plus food and water. Her tent weighs 3.5 ounces.
This is the perfect time for the wildlife biologist to go hiking because her work as a desert tortoise researcher in California’s Mojave Desert is on hiatus while the reptiles spend summer underground.
Follow her desert journey online, onda.org.
Prizes entice early SpokeFest sign-up
OUTPEDAL – Riders who preregister by June 30 for the annual SpokeFest bicycling events on Sept. 8 have a shot at winning a bike and other prizes.
Milfoil treatment set at Newman Lake
OUTWEED – Boaters are being asked to stay off Newman Lake until Friday as Spokane County treats Eurasian water milfoil infestations with 2,4-D herbicide this week.
Invasive milfoil clogs waterways for everything from fish to boats and poses the danger of entrapping swimmers.
OUTLIVE – Two trumpeter swan nests hatched cygnets in the past 10 days at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge: three on Cheever Lake and four on Middle Pine.
This is the fifth consecutive year trumpeters have nested on the refuge after a 22-year gap and the first time for two nests in a quarter-century.