When we were poor
First upload blast is going on currently. It's proving more difficult than normal, so check back today, tomorrow, and throughout the weekend for more photos.
I've processed about 80 or so of 1600 that I actually took. And i'll be adding some more here and there, talking about different parts of the trip I've forgotten, reviewing articles of gear, articles of clothing, things of the sort.
Photos are in the "JMT" section as well as at the end of this post.
Here's your primer for what's to come:
Some years ago Lindsey and I took a trip out West. Nowhere specifically, but Yosemite was one of the places. If you've never been, go. Don't make me or anyone else convince you. Don't read up in a book, look it up online, overwhelm yourself with planning and activities. Just go.
We went in 2007 for the first time. Ever since driving through that unassuming tunnel and coming out the other end in what must be the setting of many Disney stories (animals, waterfalls, trees, rays of light, butterflies, gently swaying grasses) I take any excuse to go back.
That first time we were there must have been my first exposure to the John Muir Trail (and definitely to John Muir) but truthfully, i'm not sure where the idea of hiking this trail came from. I don't recall a specific lightbulb going off or pivotal moment. in 0t7 we hiked part of the Mist trail, and that must have been the first time I'd been exposed. There's a really famous sign there that reads something like "Mt. Whitney- 212 miles via the John Muir Trail." Never thought anything of it then.
Never thought a whole lot about it for a while.
Slowly the idea of being in a Yosemite landscape for 210 miles/a month grew in its appeal. We decided only a year after ever being to Yosemite that we'd do the John Muir Trail the following year in 2008. And we planned for it- bought bear cans, made some dehydrated food.
That year, like most, was a fire year in California. That's the excuse anyway. Really we were unprepared, out of shape, and not at all ready for such a trip so by the time we made it to Yosemite Valley in 2008, we decided to not do the trail.
And since that moment, an opportunity has never come. It's kind of hard I suppose getting a month off. It's a little harder coordinating that to coincide with another person getting a month off. Of course, work, careers, families, everything else is always more important.
Lindsey was finishing her thesis, I was working a job with a lot of off time in the summer. I figured it was a perfect match. So since early spring, we were seriously planning for it. Accruing gear, looking up recipes, getting tips, etc.
When I asked if I could have 3 weeks off from my job, I was told no.