Over the Memorial Day weekend I took my first backcountry trip through the eastern side of the Southern Sierra. Over three days and 32 triumphant miles, I zig-zagged through the tree line on granite passes in the Golden Trout Wilderness.
This trip was full of “firsts” for me, from my first 22-mile day hike above 10,000 feet to my first sightings of a porcupine and yellow-bellied marmots in the wild. There is something so humbling about getting back to basics: finding a comfortable (i.e. flat) spot to sleep at night; filtering water from lakes and stream; navigating over all-terrain with a compass by sunlight and even starlight.
Maybe it was the uninterrupted outside time, the unbelievable scenic views, or just the thin air going to my head, but I left with crazy notions of starting a food-dehyration business catering to backpackers, carving out more time in my life for the simple practice of walking, and a need to return to the mountains as soon as I can.
As John Muir insightfully said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”