Yosemite

“I’m the meanest, roughest, toughest, hombre that’s ever crossed the Rio Grande – and I ain’t no namby-bamby.”  Yosemite Sam

Yosemite.  That word has captured my imagination ever since I could say the word.  It spoke of an iconic place, a special place, a beautiful place and it was a long way away.  Yosemite Sam only added to it’s wild and untamed allure.  It took me 65 years to finally get there.  The picture above is Doris and I crossing Donohue Pass into the Yosemite Wilderness.

This is the itinerary of our final leg of our JMT hike in Sept 2019.  See previous posts for the first 2 sections. Continue reading Yosemite

Into The Wild

“That’s what was great about him.  He tried.  Not many do.” 

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Perhaps some people think that a couple of 65 year old people hiking the John Muir Trail are out of their mind, and if not successful, would criticize all of the decisions that were made, just like many critics of Chris McCandless in the book Into the Wild.

We were those 65 year old people and while we think we make rational decisions and plan our way carefully you never know all the variables that can confront you when you are all alone in the wilderness.

The first leg of our journey (see previous post) didn’t seem like we were too far removed from civilization and we’ve done lot’s of 5 to 8 day backpack trips before.  Plus, our son accompanied us on the first leg so it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary.  Heading into the second and third leg of our journey was a lot more sobering … it seemed that we were in fact going “into the wild” … a longer stretch, more remote than anything we had ever done before.

Here’s our itinerary for the second leg.

Continue reading Into The Wild

Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

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“How old do you think I am?” he said
I said, well, I don’t know
He said, “I turned 65 about 11 months ago.”
I was sittin’ in Miami pourin’ blended whiskey down
When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin’ up the lounge
There wasn’t anyone around ‘cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watchin’ “Ironsides” on TV
Uninvited, he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine.

Tom T Hall

I turned 65 about 10 months ago, and uninvited, I share my mind on old hikers, the John Muir Trail, and visiting Lone Pine. Continue reading Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

Why?

The “rocks” were just out of town in the coulee.  I spent hours as a young boy on the “rocks” carving initials in the sandstone,  then wandering around the coulee eventually making my way down to Kneehill Creek to investigate the goings on of its meanderings.  Perhaps this is where my love of hiking and backpacking began.

Why do I spend multiple days at a time in a tent, sleeping on the ground, walking along trails that have no purpose? It’s a good question.

Continue reading Why?

Strawberry Cienaga

Strawberry Cienaga sounds like an exotic dessert with strawberries bathed by scrumptious creamy whipped topping, perhaps with sprinkles of chocolate, completed by a touch of Cointreau … except, it isn’t.

We passed through or by Strawberry Cienaga on our latest Section hike on the PCT.  From the hot, windy desert floor to the snow obliterated trail on the high reaches of the PCT on Mt. San Jacinto we climbed.  We found neither strawberries, nor a cienaga.   Continue reading Strawberry Cienaga