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Old 12-08-2007, 08:34 PM
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HalfDomeRick HalfDomeRick is offline
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Default The John Muir Trail

It runs 211 miles and goes from the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley, south to the summit of Mt. Whitney. For a lot of the Half Dome hike, you are on the John Muir Trail . Building the trail took from 1915 until 1938. It was started just after John Muir’s death in 1914. For 160 miles it is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. En route it passes through Devils Postpile National Monument, Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park. If you are considering it, plan on a summer hike and a very strenous one. You’ll be above 8,000 ft and have to go over 6 passes - all above 11,000 ft. Of course the ending is no picinc, with Mt Whitney being 14,500 ft. (You can also hike the northerly route.) Going south allows you acclimate prior to ascending Mt. Whitney. Plan on getting a ride home from Lone Pine. A trip will consume about 3 weeks depending on your pace. The ultimate record was a run taking just 3 days, 20 hours. Bears are all along the route and canisters are required. Permits are required and many people have supplies shipped to civilization along the way. A guided trip with a seasoned backcountry company is worth the money. Need more info? Go to the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s website.
Anyone out there done it??
Unrelated thought worth quoting: You’re not old until your dreams are replaced by regrets.”
*Carpe Diem Experience–Rick Deutsch–www.HikeHalfDome.com*
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:58 PM
RiversideRich RiversideRich is offline
 
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Default did 190 miles in 68

Well, I'll just start off by saying hello to everyone here @ OpenRoad.TV as I just joined in though I've been browsing around here pretty much since it's beginning. August 19, 1968 will live forever in my mind as a 19 yr.old just out of basic training (USAF), I along with a good friend (about to go Army and Viet Nam) and his 17 yr. old cousin left Happy Isles for what was to be a hike of a lifetime! In 68, you checked in with the Ranger, got your fire permit, and you were off. Boy, was the adrenalin pumping! I had been dreaming of this moment and hike since the 7th grade. We spent our first night at the top of Nevada Falls. Here we made a slight deviation from the JMT, I only had 15 days leave, so we went over Tuolumne Pass down past Evelyn Lake and picked up the Muir in Lyell Canyon. Day five brought us into Red's Meadow where we had a re-supply for the reminder of the trip. Starting in Yosemite and going south allowed us to acclimate easier since the early passes are lower in elevation. Good thing we were all young and athletic, as we under estimated the physical hardship a hike of this nature would take on us. But we persevered on, not suffering any injuries, not even blisters, and really got into the "flow" and rhythm of wandering in the Range of Light! Every day was special, and every turn of the trail brought new scenes and vistas. Some other highlights include making Donohue Pass and seeing Mt. Lyell with it's glacier, passing Thousand Island Lake, showering at Red's and getting a fresh meal, climbing Bear Ridge, surviving the long dry spell from Sally Keys down to the south fork of the San Joaquin. Making the 21 miles from Evolution Lake, over Muir Pass and into a camp of Boy Scouts @ Deer Meadow in Le Conte Canyon around 8:00pm. So much more could be said, but I'll finish with the hike out over kearsarge Pass, and getting back to March AFB. I must say it was nice to do the trail when so few (compared to today) were doing it. No trail quota's, no camping restrictions, no bear cannisters required, no firewood restrictions. We met some wonderful people along the way, even passed a father/daughter team who were running the trail (odd we thought). Will be 40 years come August since that trip and I'm still hoping to finish those last 30 or so miles to complete the trail. I did climb Whitney back in 70, but came up via the Portal. Well that's my story of the JMT, lets see some more.
RiversideRich
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:34 AM
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JimW JimW is offline
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Default Great story - and welcome aboard!

Thanks for sharing that great story RiversideRich! Was that all from memory, or did you keep a journal of your hike? Either way, it was really neat to re-live that hike with you so many years later.

You may have missed it, but Reelman here on OpenRoad.TV posted a really nice story about his hike of the John Muir Trail in a different thread in this forum, and included some really nice photos from his hike: http://www.openroad.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=67

If you can dig out some photos of your hike back in '68, we'd love to see them. I hate to admit it, but I was just learning to walk when you were hiking the JMT.

Jim
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:22 PM
RiversideRich RiversideRich is offline
 
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Default Memories of the Muir!

Thanks, Jim:
and yes, it was all by memory. That trip on the JMT has pretty much stayed with me all these years, as it had quite an impact on me. As I said, back in 68 you could go pretty much all day and you might only see four or five other hiker's, especially as you got further away from the lateral trails! So you really felt like it was all your own! Of course there were spots where you would run into a few more! Like the Thousand Island and Shadow Lake areas, and Evolution Valley. One group we did encounter was from the Sierra Madre Mountain Rescue unit doing some training. They came upon our "sparse" camp in Lyell Canyon. I'll never forget their "looks and snicker's" after they eyed our low-tech equipment (tube-tent,Sears canvas backpacks,construction boots), and we told them we were going all the way! That was great. Of course they were outfitted to the hilt with the latest Eddie Bauer gear. It was quite a contrast to say the least. The only other group we encountered was a scout troop from Van Nuys camped in Deer Meadow in Le Conte Canyon. As for photos from the trip, I'll try to post some of the better ones.
I did check out Reelman's Kings Canyon trip. I've had plans to do that very hike, especially into State Lakes to fish them and the surrounding waters!

Rich

Last edited by RiversideRich : 02-19-2008 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:53 PM
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HalfDomeRick HalfDomeRick is offline
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Default

Rich,

Welcome to the party!

I too was of that era and was also in the Air Force. You mentioned March AFB .. I was at SAC at Loring AFB, Maine - both are closed now.

I had some similar gear. I had a nylon A-Frame tent. Gee, was that crowded with 2 people! I often wish I had been a Boy Scout to learn all the outdoor stuff from the beginning. A Merced Boy Scout fell to his death last weekend - fell 300' off the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. Sad.

Rick D
www.HikeHalfDome.com
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:28 PM
RiversideRich RiversideRich is offline
 
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Default

greetings Rick,
nice to hear from another "SAC" man. Too bad about those base closings. Sad to hear about that scout, seems alot of that has been occurring around Yosemite of late! BTW, some in the other branches of service thought us Airmen were "boy scouts" didn't they? LOL..
Thanks for the welcome.
Rich.
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