It's an oddity, but true | Outside Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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It's an oddity, but true 

William Sullivan sees unique features in Central Oregon

Oregon author and hiking guru—and, yes, he deserves that title—William Sullivan has traversed nearly every inch of Oregon, and now is headed for Deschutes County for a little show and tell. For the past quarter-century and with his collection of guide books (and even historical fiction on airline hijacker D.B. Cooper), Sullivan has mapped out more trails, backcountry and forest roads than Lewis and Clark combined. His latest book, "The Oregon Variations," includes a tale set in each of the state's 36 counties. Now on a book tour, he is connecting his readings with a beautiful slideshow called "Oregon for the Curious."

The Source Weekly: What's the connection between the stories you plan to present and the slideshow?

William Sullivan: It's people and oddities. Oregon is a curious place. So, the slideshow is a travelogue to weird places and things all over the state that does include quite a bit of hiking. But it's all just traveling stories. And that ties in with my short story collection, because you don't want me to just stand up there and read from the book for an hour—read the book yourself!

In all of my books, my goal is to seek out strange new places in Oregon—beautiful places and then review them. I do it with the hiking guidebooks. I have hiked every trail I can find in Oregon. But I also do it with adventure memoirs. I hiked across the state, 1,000 miles through every wilderness I could find in one summer, alone with a backpack. I've done two books on Oregon history—one tells the history of the last wagon trail, the other is about Oregon's greatest natural disasters—volcanoes.

SW: What's utterly unique to Central Oregon that's a part of the slideshow?

WS: I'm going to talk about the Badlands Wilderness, and why it's so weird. It's a wilderness with no water; it's a lava plain, 12,000 years old and covering 20 square miles. It's a maze, like a labrat's maze. Between the lava is ash, dumped from when Crater Lake blew up from 7,000 years ago, there are sandy trails all over. But what's really weird about it is that there's a dry river running through it that hasn't flowed for 6,000 years. And a cave with petroglyphs. These are odd things.

6:30 pm., Thurs., May 8

Paulina Springs Books (Redmond)

422 SW 6th St., Redmond


6:30 pm., Fri., May 9

Paulina Springs Books (Sisters)

252 W Hood St., Sisters


2 pm., Sat., May 10

Downtown Bend Public Library

601 NW Wall St.


5 pm., Sat., May 10

Sunriver Books and Music

57100 Beaver Dr., Sunriver



Outdoor Speaker Series: Professional mountain guide and Bend local Chris Wright discusses his past year's pursuits—everything from taking on a new route up a mountain in Alaska to a pioneering Nepal sojourn. 6 pm. Thurs., May 8, Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century. Minimum donation $5.

David Moskowitz: When an Oregon wolf dubbed OR-7 split from his pack and made it down to California, David Moskowitz took notice. The biologist, who is also amassing a mantel full of literature trophies, parlayed that lone wolf's renegade trek into an overarching discussion about the Northwest's wolf population—its challenges, and its chances for survival. 6:30pm. Wed., May 14 at Paulina Springs Books, 422 SW 6th, Redmond. $5 (admission will be refunded with purchase of Moskowitz's book).

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