The Oregon coast has literally dozens of tiny river valleys feeding the Pacific, where you can fall through the mountains of the Coast Range into a lost world of huge animal gods: Elk, bears — cougars lounging on horizontal limbs of cedars older than the Lewis and Clark. Places outside of our power and authority, where salmonids slip in and out a of a creek on the tides, on the rains. These fish that may never have seen a single human in their five-year lives, swimming around the Pacific Rim to come back to their tiny home creek. Places where you’d better pack a dose of Vicodin in case you have to drag yourself out on hands and knees. Or just hope the Search and Rescue team can find your 270lb-ass and pull you out.
You can thank The Wilderness Society and Lyndon Johnson that we have these places left. A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.
The world would be a tired, and boring place if these reserves didn’t exist. You can also thank Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Cascadia Wildlands for advocating for more roadless wilderness areas.