With much of our summer taken up with a kitchen remodel - perhaps a non-adventure story that I'll share some details of once we've completed it - and the Tacoma in Washington after we abandoned our non-refundable plane tickets after running the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (UTBDR) in July, we were looking for somewhere a little closer to home as we started feel the antsy urge to escape to the outdoors.
Not having had the time to plan a route - a process I enjoy, but that can consume nearly as much time as a trip itself - it dawned on me that I could leverage the work of the good folks over at Overland Trail Guides to at least find a nice area to explore.
I've chatted with Ben (who runs the site) many times in the past as he and I have shared tips, locations, and ideas about great places to explore, so I sent a quick email to inquire about a trip through the Siskiyou's that I'd noticed on his site. Located along the Oregon-California border, it looked like it could be the perfect getaway for us. The only catch - the Flat Fire was burning nearby, so we'd have to be stay alert to evacuations, and keep our fingers crossed that we wouldn't be smoked out.
Route in hand, we headed south towards a wild land, nestled between the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra of California. Visited by few, the rugged beauty of this region is undeniable. Over the course of three days, we'd summit several peaks, hike through the Kalmiopsis wilderness, and take a dip in the Illinois River.