Tangent off the trail

LauTrav called to check in a few days back to let us know they took a tangent off the trail.  When check-ins are around the first of the month, it’s hard for me to get a post done right away due to my work obligations.  They hiked the John Muir Trail (page 1 of Section I –ca_section_i_map )

“The John Muir Trail passes through what many backpackers say is the finest mountain scenery in the United States. This is a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. The John Muir Trail is also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world.

The trail is 211 miles long and runs (mostly in conjunction with the PCT) from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney, in California. Winding through the famed Sierra Nevada, the JMT visits some of the crown jewels of America’s park system: Yosemite, John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The John Muir Trail section of the Pacific Crest Trail will mark you forever.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/john-muir-trail/)

I’m just amazed at the geographical changes over the trail.  Some interesting history of the trail:

“Exploring and mapping of the High Sierra was done in the late 1800′s by men like Theodore Solomons, Bolton Brown and Joseph LeConte. Solomons has been referred to as the “father’ of the JMT and was quoted as saying “the idea of a crest-parallel trail came to me one day while herding my uncle’s cattle in an immense unfenced alfalfa field near Fresno. It was 1884 and I was 14.”

To understand the history of the trail, look no further than the life of its namesake. John Muir was a famous 19th century naturalist and conservationist who was instrumental in the development of the National Park system and the fight to help preserve the American wilderness.” (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/john-muir-trail/jmt-history/)

Moving on from the John Muir Trail, LauTrav got a permit to hike the Half Dome in Yosemite!  Not like they are getting enough hiking in these days. =)

“The 14- to 16-mile round-trip hike to Half Dome is not for you if you’re out of shape or unprepared. You will be gaining elevation (for a total of 4,800 feet) most of your way to the top of Half Dome. Most would say the reward is worth the effort. Along the way, you’ll see outstanding views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, and–from the shoulder and summit–panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.

Most hikers take 10 to 12 hours to hike to Half Dome and back; some take longer. If you plan on hiking during the day, it’s smart to leave around sunrise (or earlier) and then have a non-negotiable turn-around time. For instance, if you haven’t reached the top of Half Dome by 3:30 pm, you will turn around. Check for sunrise and sunset times before you hike. Regardless, each person should carry a flashlight or headlamp with good batteries (hikers commonly struggle down the trail after dark because they don’t have a flashlight). Although the trail is well marked, you should be prepared with a good topographic map and compass and know how to use them.” (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm)

“The most famous–or infamous–part of the hike is the ascent up the cables. The two metal cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment. Since 1919, relatively few people have fallen and died on the cables. However, injuries are not uncommon for those acting irresponsibly.

The Half Dome cables usually go back up the Friday before Memorial Day (conditions permitting) and come down the day after Columbus Day. ” (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm)

LauTrav called Honey Dear (our Mom) from the top of Half Dome.  As they relayed the information about their climb up, they shared that the cables were the most interesting part of the climb, stating that part of it were terrifying as hikers are going up and down at the same time.  A water bottle fell past Lauren at one point.

As you can see from previous pictures they are seeing some amazing scenery and are appreciating the incredible country we live in!   While I’ve gotten all of these pictures off of Google, I’m sure their pictures will be amazing when I get them.

Until next time,

~ Linda =)

*Photo Credits: Google

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