I felt every drop of sweat make its way down my face, neck and back as I stared down the rattlesnake, its beady eyes locked with mine, daring me to move. At this point, a few miles into my solo-backpacking trip through Oregon’s remote desert, I considered turning around and heading the several miles back to my car. After I caught my breath, I shook off the idea. Testing myself, I thought, is exactly what I signed up for. I’d had the idea for the trip a few months ago. Travel Oregon had released an elaborate animated advertisement featuring lush rivers, snow-peaked mountains, miles of vineyards and coastline, and breathtaking Crater Lake. When I watched it, I couldn’t help thinking: false advertising.
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