(Written by Bill)
Back in September 2010, my two son’s, two of my grandson’s, and I hiked the John Muir Trail (JMT). We hiked 211 miles in 16 days loving every minute on the trail. You can read about it here – JMT 2010
Three years have passed since then and the itch got to my two sons. They decided to not only do it again but to do it in 7 days which means they would have to average about 31 miles per day. Their route was north to south, beginning at Happy Aisle in Yosemite Valley (4,000′) and ending at the top of Mt Whitney (14,508′). But one must realize there is still 10.5 miles left to get down to Whitney Portal for pick-up, making the trip a total of 221.5 miles.
Although I would have loved to have been included in this hike, there were two primary reasons I did not go, 1) 31 miles a day for 7 straight days is too much for me, 2) if I do the JMT again I would like to take a month so that I can see and enjoy all that it has to offer. With this being said, I took on a supporting role. I will post a blog specifically highlighting their journey, but for this one I would like to show some of the sights I experienced, outside the JMT, while supporting their backpacking adventure.
Saturday, I dropped the boys off in Yosemite Valley at 4:00am with only a small day pack (water and food for the day) and then drove up to Tuolumne Meadows where I planned on meeting them that afternoon. It would take the better part of the day to reach the meadows and when they did we met at the Grill for some solid food. After eating we hiked together about 6 miles on the JMT into Lyell Canyon where we set up camp. They were up then next morning and on the trail at 4:30am headed for Reds Meadow, again carrying only a day pack. I packed up the camp and hiked back to Tuolumne Meadows and then drove around to Reds Meadow where I would set up camp and wait for the boys, who arrived about 7:00pm. Whew, another long day. The next morning (Monday) they hit the trail at 4:30am with full packs this time, since there was no logical place we could meet-up for the rest of the trail. The next time I would see them would be at Whitney Portal on Friday, 5 days later.
So, begins my journey. After the boys left, I hiked to Devils Post Pile and Rainbow Falls to take pictures. I then drove to an old western ghost town named Bodie, south of Bridgeport about 13 miles off of highway 395 (a must see great place to visit). The following day I drove south on 395 to an ancient Bristle Cone Pine Grove which is located in the White Mountains at the 10,000′ level. I took highway 168 just outside of Big Pine, and drove roughly 23 miles (well worth the long winding road). These Pines are said to be the oldest living things on earth (4-6 thousand years old). After hiking through the ancient trees I visited Convict Lake along my way to Whitney Portal, just 13 miles outside of Lone Pine, California.
I’ve included just a few pictures from my journey and hope you enjoy the views. I would have loved to post more photos, but feared boring many of you, however, if you’re interested in seeing more images here you are, Oh boy, more photos!
Hope you enjoy, bill