The JMT, or, at least we went to the Steinbeck museum

“I wonder why it is when I plan a route too carefully, it goes to pieces, whereas if I blunder along in blissful ignorance aimed in a fancied direction, I get through with no trouble.”–John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Take note: our Long Trail trip was completely half-assed, and it worked out splendidly. The John Muir Trail, not so much. We planned the crap out of that trail, then S got sick about 3-4 days in. At first glance, maybe it was altitude–sea level to 7,000 feet isn’t nothing, but whatever the situation was, it didn’t improve at lower altitude.

So I soloed a section, and Tuolumne Meadows was amazing, and it was a novelty to me to have any snow on the high passes on a sunny warm day (I KNOW California and the Sierras saw a low-snow year but still a novelty to someone whose high peaks are 4.000 feet).

But also noted: a solo means that you get to stew about things, because there is nobody to think it’s funny when you trip over a rock or there to tell you the stupidest jokes when you are feeling salty about a thunderstorm-hailstorm at 10,000 feet. It does mean you get to enjoy your own company, which obviously has some advantages.

If I had planned that trip as a solo adventure the whole time, it would have been different. But the trip was thrown off after I set out by myself, just because it felt weird to be on my own. It’s a well-traveled trail and I ran into plenty of other hikers, but it’s a different sort of company.

Also the quantity of sprouts I was growing was for two people to crunch on and then I ate them all. Lucky I had my dehydrated hummus to spread on a tortilla with said sprouts. Good lunch.

So I made it into the solo section followed by a California trip, and the highlight of said trip was tacos in Los Angeles (I managed to get back on the west side of the Sierras). Next time I’ll bring more clothes.

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