Short post because I’m writing on a phone! More detailed updates to come, but for now here’s a quick briefing…
17 days of hiking has led us to Red’s Meadow Resort and a much needed zero day in the town of Mammoth Lakes! We are about 60 miles from the end of the road for this venture, Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley. And I’m having a really hard time putting into words what the John Muir Trail has been like.
We have crossed snowy mountain passes and countless freezing cold streams. We have summited Mt. Whitney and stood speechless and awed in soaring valleys looking up at unimaginably beautiful mountains and cliff faces. We’ve traversed zones scarred and shaped by wildfires decades past, stumbled upon many a deer grazing in many a perfect, picturesque meadow. We have eaten more than a few freeze-dried meals, Snickers, and bags of instant oatmeal, fended off hundreds of mosquitoes and flies, and gone up and down more switchbacks than I believed possible before this trip. It has been wild, it has been freeing, it has been peaceful, it has been hilarious, it has been humbling, and it has been hard.
Two and a half weeks in and I can understand perfectly what drives Triple Crown-caliber hikers to pound out thousands and thousands of miles: among other things, the beauty, the curiosity, and the pure majesty of the distance. I love the mountains. I love being part of the mountains, no matter how brutal and snowy and insanely difficult they are. I feel at once like a stranger and as if I were at home. It is magic. It is freedom. It is, as John Muir called it, a good practical sort of immortality.
Here are a few photos from the first two and a half weeks. About a week more and we’ll be in Yosemite! More pictures, thoughts, and stories to come. Thanks for following along! -S