The newest book from author, historian and naturalist Thayer is Hiking from Portland to the Coast (OSU Press, 2016).
Mr. Thayer's previous book, Portland's Forest Hikes explores hiking Forest Park and the wooded slopes leading almost to Scappoose, Oregon. Hiking from Portland to Coast is the extension of that prior book, starting in Scappoose and penetrating through the welter of peaks and valleys that make up the Oregon Coast range. One trail follows the Salmonberry River to Nehalem Bay; the other traverses the slopes of Saddle Mountain, emerging in Seaside, Oregon. The trails are arranged in loops, and inlace easy walks as well as challenging hikes.
What distinguishes Mr. Thayer's interpretive guides is his unique, thoroughly researched, fascinating, historical anecdotes that relate to the places one discovers through the hikes. It makes each hike come alive with its natural attributes, and with its special history.
James D. Thayer is a hiking enthusiast and local history buff. His website reflects his interest in both of those avocations.
Mr. Thayer grew up in a hamlet on the Austrian-German border. His father, Charles W. Thayer was a retired US diplomat well known for his best-selling memoirs about the early years of the Foreign Service. A renowned fly-fisherman and big game hunter, he wrote for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated. He also managed a large hunting reserve near the village of Ruhpolding. At 12, he was sent back to the United States, where he attended a boarding school to which all prior Thayers had been sent, an experience under which he did not thrive. During the holidays I returned to the Alps. Upon graduation I applied to Reed College, where I theorized that the notoriously poor weather would keep me indoors enough to complete my studies. It worked and I graduated in 1975, though by then I was mightily smitten by Oregon's vast beauty.
Mr. Thayer earned my MBA from the Thunderbird School of International Management in Arizona. Upon his return to Portland he worked as a senior economic development executive, and later ran his own international trade consultancy, a relationship which allowed him to travel all the world. During the '90's Mr. Thayer helped several high tech firms set up their international sales and marketing networks. Today, he teaches international marketing at PSU.
Hiking from Portland to Coast is available in the Bookstore at the Visitor Center.