Exactly one year ago, my family and I departed to walk the the John Muir Trail (JMT). A hiking trail along the main range of the Sierra Nevada, California. The “Wild Party” consisted of my mother Marion “Big Spoon”, my father Gerhard “Winnetou” and my brother Stefan “Hot Pool” Wild. The JMT winds itself 210.4 miles (338.6 km) through the High Sierra back country and wilderness areas between Mt. Whitney and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley and is one of three long-distance trails in the USA. In the end it was the biggest adventure of our lives, and it makes me more than proud to write here: “Yes, we made it”
My parents and I planned to meet in Lone Pine, a small wild-wild-west town near Death Valley National Park and the start of our big adventure. I had just finished a one month “Hitch ‘n Climb, USA” from Boulder, Colorado, and didn’t know exactly when I would arrive in Lone Pine. “In luck we trust” was the last text message I sent my parents and gave them also a rough guess of several days when we would likely meet up in Lone Pine. My parents themselves were travelling from Los Angeles, and got quite excited about public transportation in the States… After catching a really fun ride with a group of Slovakians through Death Valley, I finally set foot in Lone Pine. I could hardly see which way the wind blows, as I suddenly hear my dad’s characteristic whistle and startle up. They are standing across the road and arrive in Lone Pine in the very same moment ! “Fortuna is with us !”
After not having seen them for about a year, it was a much-longed for warm welcome. But we didn’t have much time to chat, we had stuff to do ! There was our JMT permit that had to be picked up from the ranger station, a bucket filled with food that I had sent from Boulder over a month ago and the still open question “How do we actually get to the trail head ?” In the end we secured a ride with Lone-Pine-Kurt, who dropped us of at Horseshoe Meadows with all our gear and food for the next 2 weeks. We planned to meet my brother Stefan half-way along the trail at the John Muir Ranch, where I also had sent a food-bucket to for resupply. Here, my brother Stefan would complete the Wild Party and join us for the second half of the trail.
“The mountains are calling and I must go – John Muir”
As a picture is worth a thousand words (and I would need many words to describe our trip), please grab yourself a cup of tea, sit down and enjoy our slide show. But beware, it might change your life – it certainly has changed mine.