The Letting Go

I’m beginning to understand the market for all-inclusive vacations.  The concept of everything being set-up for the vacationer is enticing each time Peter and I set out for an adventure.  At least it is for me.  Just why it takes so long each and every time we go into the back country frustrates and baffles me like clockwork.  Which is why I wax positive with this idea of … more



Twenty steps in and the trip was already worth the four hour drive from home.  That’s all it took.  Peter looked back and said these very words to me with a huge smile on his face.  Considering we came from our backcountry backyard in the Wasatch Mountains, far away from a neighbor let alone a booming metropolis, this was quite a statement.   Just where were we?  Canyonlands … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Eight

Back in civilization, we found ourselves in Lone Pine, California with our good friends Jeff and Cheryl.  My left leg felt gimp.  The shin was blown up like a balloon.  The inflammation made my toes look like stubs sticking out of my foot.  Still, it feels good to sit in a kitchen and catch up with friends.  Good to munch on chips, guacamole and salsa washed down with … more


John Muir Trail Take Two; Part Seven

6:01 am start.  Again, no breakfast.  Just coffee and hot chocolate in our little cook nook.  Our kitchen in the outdoors within the little space between the pine trees and the rocks near our camp that is protected from the wind.  We rose at 4:40am and moved fast though exhaustion had set in.   Peter even suggested staying in the sleeping bags for our hot chocolate.  I suggest … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Six

People seemed amused by Peter’s lumbar pack/lightweight day pack combination.  The day before, it was a group of guys setting up camp above Palisade Lakes.  I was ahead and when Peter passed the group minutes later, there was the usual ‘hey, nice fanny pack, are you out for a day hike?’   Peter stopped to explain the AC joint injury and said to them ‘Did you see a … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Five

A pee break becomes complicated when sleeping outdoors.  Camping out far away from the minimal comforts of a campground makes it even more complex.  Too much fluid made nature come calling more than once the evening prior.  Sleeping under the tarp tent in our ‘poopy camp’ with all the piles and TP under each rock in the area made for late night adventures while looking for bladder relief. … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Four

The most vivid memory of the Eastern Sierra for me is not one of sight or sound, but one of smell.  The sweet butterscotch scent of the Jeffrey Pine will be forever imbedded in this sense of mine.  I smelled them before I saw them and said to Peter, ‘this has to be a forest of Jeffrey Pines…’  Soon enough, one of the mammoth trees rose in view.  … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Three

The lightweight gear for our trip did not end with the tarp instead of tent, the sleeping bags or the clothing.  It continued with the food choices we made.  Deciding what the eat for the following eight days was not an easy task from the comforts of a friend’s living room.  I know first hand how good things can seem and how nauseating they can become after days … more


John Muir Trail Take Two; Part Two

It was 9:15am when we first stepped onto the trail at Coldwater Campground.  The trailhead led to Duck Pass and the emergence of the John Muir trail, some 70 miles or so from the official start in Yosemite, our destination for the day.     I remembered fourteen years prior taking that same first step.  Only it was a lot later in the day.  I think it was … more


John Muir Trail take two; part one

Why on earth I found myself on the John Muir Trail (JMT) on a multi-day hiking trip just over a month after competing in my last Olympics was a question uttered more than once last week.  My husband Peter and I decided on a whim to go to California in search of adventure.  What better a way to step into the next phase of life than a walk … more

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