Even as a young child Diana Pace loved wandering outside.
“It was the free-range era and we lived on the edge of a development,” she said. “When I did move to Oregon I just kept wandering outside, commuting with nature.”
Pace moved to Douglas County in 1975 and started exploring the Umpqua basin, mostly on foot.
As her children were growing up she would take them to all the popular hiking spots: Susan Creek Falls, Toketee Falls, Watson Falls, Twin Lakes. They’d also take wildflower hikes near Glide in the spring.
“What draws me to hiking here, is the beauty and the trail,” Pace said. “There are so many trails you can alternate going to.”
And Pace has alternated quite a few of them. She has hiked the entire North Umpqua Trail in sections.
Pace has also backpacked several sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs near Mount Thielsen in Douglas County.
In 1990 she decided to join the Friends of the Umpqua hiking club. The club hikes all throughout Douglas County and surrounding areas.
Pace is the only remaining original member of the club. Newcomers are joining all the time and even visitors are welcome to join, just check www.friendsoftheumpqua.org for a schedule and bring appropriate attire to wander around Douglas County.
Sanne Godfrey can be reached at email@example.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.