The photo above is the southern part of High Sierra mountain range view from its east side, taken on the road side of route 178. A while ago, on our way out from Death Valley to Bakersfield, we encountered this striking view in front of us. I stood up on the road side staring at it for a few seconds and then took this panorama. I want to say it was intimidating just by being there and watching it. In the distance, a storm was rolling into the area, which made the scene even more dramatic and evocative. I had a slight remarks in my head: “…So the John Muir Trail (JMT) runs on THAT MOUNTAIN RANGE”.
We didn’t know anything about JMT until last year, after we had hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim and then the Mt Whitney. Ever since the first day we knew about it, my husband is DETERMINED to do the JMT this year. In the following months, we’ve studied numerous articles and learned nuts and bolts about ultra light backpacking, watched many youtube videos of other hiker’s trip, and not to mention that we bought, tried, tossed and kept a handful amount of gears to really achieve Ultra Light. All of that is to get ready for this 20 days and 215 miles of wonderful back-country life on the trail.
When you hike the JMT, you walk through one of the world’s most spectacular landscape exists beyond auto-access. You start in Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 miles through Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and end at the highest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft. We are going to walk it the average speed, enjoy each step, each meal, each vista, and more importantly enjoy every moment in one of the world’s most beautiful and rare land.
The decision for my husband was a snap. Just like that. He said he is all set to hike the JMT, no matter what. However, the decision for me didn’t come that easy. To hike the entire trail, I need to be prepared in the following ways: physically, technically, and mentally. I bummed at the mental part. Just the thought of being in the middle of nowhere far from home for 3 weeks scared me at first. When feet hurt, foods are running less, storm and hail is coming down, and the midnight temperature drops, these moments are indeed mental endurance challenges.
Today, as I am writing, I have decided to hike the John Muir Trail this August with my husband. I had pull myself out of the mental blocks and disbelieves. I’ve decided to be open minded, be brave, be free spirited, and be COME WHAT MAY.
Calling the wonderful wildness home for 3 weeks with the person I love is such a lucky and premier opportunity. I may get aching feet, I may feel hungry all the time, I may get soaked and freeze to death at night, but that’s all fine with me, because nature eventually will heal, cheer, and give my body and soul the strength I need to complete.
After all, walking in the rain with my man is very romantic, don’t you think?