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Listening for Coyote: A Walk Across Oregon's Wilderness Paperback – May 15, 2000


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Listening for Coyote: A Walk Across Oregon's Wilderness + Cabin Fever: Notes from a Part-Time Pioneer + Hiking Oregon's History : The Stories Behind Historic Places You Can Walk to See
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oregon State University Press; 1st OSU Press ed edition (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870715267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870715266
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On August 17, 1985, William Sullivan kissed his wife and two children goodbye and embarked on a 1,300-mile walk across Oregon. The journey would begin on the western edge of the continent where Pacific breakers batter Cape Blanco and conclude on the rim of Hell's Canyon overlooking the Snake River. His route would "traverse four mountain ranges and eighteen designated Wilderness Areas. It would lead through fog-bound rain forests, windswept glacial cirques, and sunbaked desert canyons." Averaging 20 miles per day, Sullivan completes the trek in just over two months, reporting his progress in the daily entries that make up Listening for Coyote. Equal parts trail log, regional history, and personal memoir, Sullivan's recorded journey is also a captivating look at Oregon's natural heritage and the conservation efforts to safeguard its treasures. Entering the Rogue River Canyon, for instance, Sullivan meets a pair of contract loggers clearing a road for a timber harvest; he observes darkly that he's in the "largest roadless forest in Oregon," a place being fought over at that very moment, and one can only wonder what has happened to it since. Elsewhere along the way Sullivan recounts past Indian wars, outlaw exploits, and gold-mining boondoggles. More immediate are his surprise encounters on the trail with wildlife, hunters, environmental activists, and other hikers. Deep in the Cascades' Three Sisters Wilderness, he meets a couple of backpackers who turn out to be engaged in an even more ambitious adventure than his--a hike clear across the country that "could take years." And of course there is the inspiring coyote chorus--perhaps to be rivaled by the howling of wolves in the not-so-distant future.

Since the publishing of Listening for Coyote, the "New Oregon Trail," as it's now called, has been added to the state's long-range trail plan, although many sections remain undeveloped; Sullivan's pioneering work will be of special interest anyone considering the trek.


More About the Author

The author of three novels and a dozen nonfiction books, Sullivan grew up in Salem, Oregon. He completed his B.A. degree in English at Cornell University under Alison Lurie, studied linguistics at Germany's Heidelberg University, and earned an M.A. in German at the University of Oregon. He reads in a dozen languages, plays the pipe organ, and enjoys backcountry ski expeditions.
Sullivan is known in the American West as the author who backpacked more than a thousand miles across Oregon's wilderness in 1985. His journal of that adventure, "Listening for Coyote," has since been chosen one of Oregon's "100 Books," the most significant books in state history.
In summer he writes at the log cabin that he and his wife Janell Sorensen built by hand in the wilds of Oregon's Coast Range, more than a mile from roads, electricity, and telephones. The rest of the year they live in Eugene, Oregon, where he volunteers to promote libraries and literature.
A list of Sullivan's books, speaking engagements, and favorite adventures is at www.oregonhiking.com .

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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He has an easy-to-read writing style.
Keith Limbaugh
Bill Sullivan has a great way of recounting these interactions and describing the cast of characters he meets.
Chris
I've read and reread this book several times.
Jeffery L. McCadden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book! I've had my copy for several years, and I think I have re-read it once a year since I got it. If you sometimes appreciate living vicariously through the adventures of others, pick up this book. It might even spur some real adventures of your own. It's similar to "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill what's-his-name, only Bill Sullivan walks across Oregon (on a diagonal), and the background and history in this book is even more interesting. Includes funny adventures, and insights into long-distance hiking. If you want to hike in Oregon, check out some of Sullivan's excellent guide books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery L. McCadden on June 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've read and reread this book several times. For any adventurer or would-be adventurer, this book is the one to read. William Sulivan's other books and trail guides are easily the best available on Oregon hiking. Read the books, and if you get the chance, visit Mr. Sullivan at one of his book signings. Love that Cardiac-Arrest French Toast!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Reading this book felt a lot like taking a very long walk with a smart, aware, brave and sensitive friend. Here is someone who really knows how to live in the present. It's so inspiring that after I'd finished reading the book, I just wanted the journey of discovery and insight to continue. So today I'm going out to see what new paths I can discover on the outskirts of the city of Ashland. This is a book I know I'll revisit again and again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Seles on September 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that you can pick up every now and then and enjoy it just as much as you did the first time around. This account of his hike from the western most point in the state of Oregon to the eastern most point makes for some wonderfully exciting and enjoyable reading. I love to buy this book for people as a gift and every single one of them has thanked me for introducing them to this terrific book. Do yourself a favor and order it now!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kim F. on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was a Christmas present for my boyfriend, but I snagged it first and did nothing but rave about it as I read it.

The writing style is perfect - educational, personal, and almost like you are actually there with him on the hike. The tidbits of history, geology, botany are blended with observations of those met along the way and the writer's own growth.

I'm not a hiker (not even close!) but this book made me feel like I could get out there and do it - at least until reality set in. Even so, I enjoyed every step of the author's trip.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AnnA on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm almost totally an arm-chair nature-lover, and I LOVED this book. Despite my disinterest in too much physical exertion, I do love the outdoors: I love the national parks, I enjoy a walk on some of the easier trails, I love just spending time in a quiet spot among the trees. But I've never felt impelled to do any "real" camping or "real" hiking. I say this because from Sullivan's other work and some of the other reviews, it seems like only those who are really into back-packing or at least medium-hard hiking will enjoy this. Not so. I'm so glad I picked this up (off a remainder table at a bookstore years ago). It started me on a now years-long love affair with good nature writing. Engaging, descriptive (but not overly so), informative, it still remains among my very favorite books, all these years later. So for anyone who loves nature, whether of the serious back-packer/climber/hiker ilk or the more sit-down variety, this is a great experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OregonHiker on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
William Sullivan is Oregon's hiker laureate. That title is well-deserved if for no other reason than the arduous trek he chronicles in his first book, "Listening for Coyote". Highly recommended for hikers and non-hikers alike!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rcinbvtn on May 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a great read, especially if you've been on the trail anywhere actually. William Sullivan recants his amazing trek across Oregon in an easy manner, which he conveys in person if you ever have the pleasure. There's an amazing cast of characters he encounters. Think Gonzo goes to the mountains.
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