From what I can tell so far, less than 5% of the Pacific Trail miles are on pavement. That percentage could spike in a big fire year (where long detours become neccessary) but probably still stay below 10%. Knock on wood, this has not been a big fire year.
Today a six mile road walk was necessary to cross the nearest bridge over the Klamath River. On the way I found myself firmly in State of Jefferson territory, Seiad Valley.
For those that aren't aware, the "State of Jefferson" is a hypothetical new state of the United States. The redefined territory would unite rural southern Oregon and rural Northern California under a single flag, the Double X. The proposed capitol would run official state business out of Yreka, currently a city in California. Redding (California) is also under consideration as capitol of the State of Jeffereson.
This is hardly a news flash. The official proposal was shot down in 1941. But the sentiment is alive and well in Seiad Valley (population 350) and other parts of the region as well. In fact, with a little more room in my pack I might've purchased one of the State of Jefferson T-shirts or flags being sold at the Seiad Valley general store.
I assure you this isn't a cheap stunt or nostalgic appeal to sell more merchandise. Just look at what's being displayed in the windows of this tiny town and you'll quickly realize there are some constituents ready to be called to action.
Speculate how you will about the socioeconomics of such a division in the modern age. But ask yourself one question:
How many continuous acres of unified voting justifies a new state? One million? Ten million? One hundred million?
At some point unified surface area has to outweigh unified population density. Are we really to believe any significant number of the hyper dense urban voters have the grit to come out to Seiad Valley and run a country store? If not, then why should these urban centers dictate a land mass they're not willing to operate first hand?!
Who cares how many voters there are in LA, San Francisco, and Portland? (Hypothetically) If the overwhelming majority of the legal voters on 47 million acres of continuous land want to form their own state, why limit their representation? (For comparison, the state of Rhode Island bounds roughly 768 thousand acres, an area 61 times smaller than the proposed State of Jefferson)
Anyways, the Oregon border is at the top of this mountain right infront of me. I've been waiting until nightfall to hike. The thermometer hit 106 in Seiad Valley today.
PCT Mile 1,653.