One day I was hiking with my family in the Sierras, I remember a man walking by with a huge backpack on. Being a curious child I asked my parents why that man had such a huge pack. When they told me about how people hike for many days in the mountains I was fascinated. I had endless questions for them about how people could carry all they need for days in a backpack. Then on the way home they told me about the John Muir Trail and how it took almost a month to complete (this was long before the days of ultralight backpacking and 7-10 day journeys along the trail). The idea of spending that much time hiking was amazing to me. I told myself then that one day I would go backpacking along the JMT.
Many years went by and my love of the outdoors never wavered. The logistics of backpacking never fell into place for me. I had other interests that I invested time and money in and didn't have any friends that were all that interested in going as well. The desire was still there but the opportunity was not.
One year I took my buddy Chris to Kings Canyon because he had never been. He showed me Yosemite for the first time so I decided to return the favor. We did some day hiking, but quickly ran out of things to do. We started talking about how much back country there was and how we had been car camping for many years in a row now. We decided that the following summer we would go on a backpacking trip rather than car camp. We got equipment, read a bunch on backpacking, I went on an overnight trip,and we talked about where we were going to go. We decided on the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park. When the time came Caryn (who was my fiance at the time and was meeting my friends and family for the first time), My Brother Michael, Chris, and I set out on the Rae Lakes Loop. We made it 2 days in and Caryn got sick and the rest of us realized we were in over our heads. We rested a day and turned back. I hiked more the following year and was able to do a moderate trip with my Siblings in 2010.
Now as I get older I realize that if this childhood dream is to be reached it needs to be done soon. I have laid out the goals that need to be reached to achieve the ultimate goal. In this blog I am going to share my journey to and through the John Muir Trail. I have a SPOT GPS and I will be logging my prep hikes and treks with it and sharing the links here. I will talk about equipment, skills, philosophy, approach, ultralight vs midweight vs heavy packs, and anything else I feel pertains to the trip.
The Countdown to August 2013 begins now.......