Thirteen Days In


“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike!  Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’  It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to The Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la saint terre’, ‘to The Holy Land’. And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them. “”

John Muir

A dear friend sent me that quote… I love it!

Thirteen days in, 132 miles, and our sore muscles and aching feet don’t support the notion that we have been sauntering but it sure does have a “Holy Land” feeling.  We are walking through beautiful places all day long and it’s almost become commonplace.

There are so many beautiful places to set up camp and take it all in, but we press on knowing our time is limited, and we become hikers and not saunterers.

Starr Camp

After making our way over the most demanding passes we made our way to the Muir Trail Ranch to pick up our resupply for the final leg of our journey. We had mailed our dehydrated meals and some additional toiletries in a Home Depot pail from Red Deer in late August… hoping that Customs would not have an issue with the contents. It was a welcome relief to find our “package”, not so great was that my pack was back to 40 pounds.  The Muir Trail Ranch takes our garbage and reuses our buckets, a great service to hikers.


The Muir Trail Ranch is also close to some hot springs which I took in … more of a mud bath …  but much warmer than the cold bathes in mountain streams.  Since it required wading a wide, cold stream Doris opted out.


The trail to the ranch was a lovely forest walk through Ponderosa pines.


Trail trivia:  to confirm that it’s a Ponderosa tree … stick your nose into the bark and smell. It’s the smell of butterscotch and vanilla.

Thanks for reading.


Published by

Victor Doerksen

This blog is written to be a kind of virtual trail guide to those who are already into hiking and trekking .... and an inspiration to those who are just beginning to contemplate extended hikes/backpack trips. Hiking is AWESOME!

4 thoughts on “Thirteen Days In”

  1. How would you know the hot springs weren’t filled with strange things…? Quite the adventure. Thanks for letting us get a glimpse of the journey!


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