“I’ve made my bucket list. I want to do stuff now, so when I’m old and dying, I’ll have no regrets.” “What kinds of things have you done?” “I served in the Peace Corps—not after college, but in mid-career. This was on my list, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to do it after I had kids.”“Do you have an actual bucket list?” “I do. It’s usually either doing active things or things involving a little fear: heights, snakes, jellyfish. I try to conquer them. I swam with sharks and jellyfish. I did public speaking because I was afraid of doing it. After 9/11, I moved to the Middle East when everyone was afraid of going there. I want to run a marathon, but I have knee problems so I’m working hard on that. One day, I want to do the Pacific Crest Trail, but I hope to do the John Muir Trail as a smaller first step.” “How did you develop this mindset?” “I read an article about a survey of old people in nursing homes. They asked them what they would have done differently in their lives. Most of them said that they wished they had left some sort of a legacy, and they wished that they had taken more risks. The second part is what stuck with me. The first one will then come naturally.”
Tomorrow, The First-Ever, Self-Supported Yosemite 100
I remember it being excitedly mentioned to me.
“Yeah, dude. One hundred miles through Yosemite. Self-supported. I’ve mapped out a route.”
It sounded just stupid enough to entertain. Peter Brennen had spent some serious time thinking on a route that would take him 100 miles through all of Yosemite and past all the most spectacular landmarks.
“Sounds sweet,” I shrugged. “I’m in.”
And that’s how you end doing things like this. It’s not peer pressure. In fact, it’s almost the opposite.
So tomorrow Peter and I (with Crista, Dom and Katie in tow) will set off for Yosemite. As far as I can tell, this would be the first 100-miler run through the park. A lot of people do the 210-mile John Muir Trail over a series of days. But no one has run 100 miles straight within the park, let alone doing it self-supported.
CORRECTION: Catra Corbett has run a 100-miler in Yosemite, but I’m not sure what her route was. Someone mentioned it might have been around the Valley floor. Not sure.
Originally, we planned to begin Friday morning, but a late spring storm is hitting at the moment, dumping over a foot of snow at high elevation. So, we’ve postpone our start till Saturday. Or at least Friday afternoon. No matter when we start, it will be cold. And I’d be lying to stay I’m not a bit nervous about the very low temps and possibility for trails to be snowed out.
As a result, we’ve altered our route from Peter’s original idea. We’ll now be staying below 10,000 feet the entire run. And we have an alternative route with out-and-back sections in case any of the peaks are impassable. In the original, we actual head up Half Dome around mile 60ish. In the new one, we’ll hit it probably around sunset at mile 45.
The other very real concern is my knee. It felt perfectly fine following Zane Grey 50 two weeks again, but on a run last week, it started to feel a bit painful, sort of in the vein of patellar tendinitis. Obviously that doesn’t bode well, but I’m hoping it will clear up.
This is really quite the challenge. What does one bring for 100 miles in the high country?
Yes. That is 13.8 pounds of pack (include water). But at least it’s better than Peter’s 18.6 pounds. (Seriously, dude. What are you bringing?)
I’ve had to augment my Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest with a Sea to Summit bag full of various layers of clothing, water filtration devices and illumination plus batteries. So I’ve lashed all that to the opposite of my pack. Then, my entire UD vest is filled to the brim with gels, chews, bar and more from The Feed, plus some rice squares I made from The Feed Zone Portables book.
I figure the route will take us around 30 hours so I’m banking on around 9,000+ calories (extra calories, just to be on the safe side). This is what that looks like:
But the best part of these adventure is that—somehow—I’ve never been to Yosemite. So, I’d say that this is a pretty good way to see the whole park.
Here’s hoping that everything goes according to plan, we have good weather, and I don’t end up having to gnaw on Peter’s frozen leg to survive. Whatever happens, there will certainly be stories to tell.
Dustin checked in at 64 miles right at the original cut off time (5:30 AM). They bumped it back to 7AM because everyone was so slow in the dark over the technical section along the John Muir trail. He looks good despite taking a couple of falls and having wet feet/blisters. I expect him to pick up pace now that it’s daylight.
Here in California, we do things a little differently. In January, we almost literally had zero rain and mild temperatures. Now in the springtime, a month before summer, we’re walking around shivering in sweaters and jackets, and the high mountain roads (Tioga and Sonora) have been opened, closed, and reopened…several times,…
Please PM me if you have done the John Muir Trail or other trails at Yosemite National Park. I have two days to hike in Yosemite and looking for the best trail. I am looking to hear your experience with day hikes?
take a trip to somewhere outside of the U.S. have my first kiss go skydiving stargaze on top of a roof skinny dip move out own a cat/dog eat clean for a whole year have a 2 pack get my nose pierced visit every continent (except Antarctica) chop all my hair off fall in love hold hands with someone (when im not breaking up with them) watch the sunset on a blanket learn how to drive stick take a spontaneous roadtrip participate in a poetry slam pass my first semester in college with all A’s visit Canada live in a different state for more than a couple months see the Grand Canyon and Yosemite hike the John Muir trail get married before im 30 live in a tiny house learn how to surf know how to write checks take a ride in a vintage convertible learn how to file my taxes try sushi
Last year, I journeyed down to California for what I thought would be “the hike of a lifetime”–the John Muir Trail. While I was on it and, even for the weeks following, I figured I was one-and-done. I had done it once and that was good for a lifetime.
But had I really done it? I started the trip at the traditional trail head, Happy Isles, but after about seventeen nights on the trail, I decided to head out at Kearsarge Pass, about two or three days short of the official end-point, Mount Whitney. At the time, I was perfectly okay with the decision. I had clocked nearly 200 miles. I was tired and I missed my family desperately. Yes, I was okay with it.
But wait. Maybe not. With each passing day, week and month since returning home, it felt incomplete. Rationally, I know I accomplished something legitimate. Irrationally, I felt I had unfinished business. And it nagged at me through the Winnipeg winter.
In the meantime, I continued to follow all sorts of hiking resources online. I read AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller. And I started following olympian Clara Hughes’ Twitter feed (@clarahughes_) as she worked way along the AT.
There’s no way my life will accommodate the AT. But I also knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything less than a thru-hike this year. So purely on impulse, and without consulting my wife, I started working on getting a permit for the JMT. And after a few unsuccessful fax attempts, I got on the phone with a ranger and within minutes had one confirmed for a September 12 start. “What did I just do?” I asked myself, sitting in the park across the street from my office.
I called my wife. I started by telling her about the Miller book and the Hughes envy I had been feeling She thought for sure I was about to ask to do the AT for six or seven months. So, needless to say, she was relieved when I said all I wanted to do was the JMT. She didn’t hesitate to sign off on it.
And just like that, it’s up on the calendar. I’m more motivated to train. And I’m filling my spare time reading and planning. It feels great.
Rae Lakes Sunset - 2013 South Lake to Onion Valley JMT Hike by Bruce Lemons Via Flickr: Looking N from campsite on isthmus between Upper and Middle Rae Lakes. Fin Dome at left. Day 7 of 8 day JMT section hike.
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“Sometimes it is about the journey,” and that is what Mile…Mile & A Half captures as the team from The Muir Project record their trek along the John Muir Trail. From beginning to end, I smiled, laughed, and then smiled again as stunning panoramic shots played out on my television. The crew’s quirky and often humorous antics made me feel closer to this group of hikers, and I too wanted to ditch civilization and hike into the back country. Watch this film for an uplifting and beautiful capturing of a crew’s journey along the John Muir Trail!
“I’d rather be in the mountains thinking about God than in church thinking about the mountains.” John Muir. Workout with @temacita ✔️ Trail run ✔️ #irunthehill #myphillyrun #run215 #cityfitgirls #giveit100 #forbiddendrive by purlbeforeswine https://instagram.com/p/2_NtjfyP9Q/