A Change of Plans

I have found it very hard to post anything for the past several months because I didn’t know how to start.  I have made hiking a part of my life and personality over the past several years.  When I get a hobby, I dive head first.  In the last year, I have made hiking the JMT a core part of my plans.  And now I’ve changed my plans.

Several things have happened since my last post, and I think the universe is telling me not to hike the JMT this year.  It took me a long time to come to this realization, but I believe I made the right choice.  There have been good things that have gotten in the way (we’re buying a house, and Andrew switched jobs to one he is better suited for and will enjoy more) and not so good things (a complete failure of a training hike, not getting a southbound permit and settling for a northbound one) that have led me to believe the JMT isn’t for me in 2016.  I am not in shape enough to hike 12 to 15 miles every day at an altitude I’ve never been at before, and I definitely don’t want to have this once in a lifetime experience without my husband, who is my best friend and patient hiking partner.

Instead, I will be hiking the Rae Lakes Loop with one of my good friends from high school and her roommate.  Rather than heading from Glen Pass to Woods Creek in just one day, passing through the Rae Lakes in a blur, we’ll have a lot more time to enjoy one of the most beautiful stretches of the JMT.  We’ll take 7 days to explore the beauty of the area, jump in alpine lakes, wonder at waterfalls, and hike an average of 8 miles a day.

After the jump, read more about what will happen with this blog and what my future plans are.

Even though I made this decision a few weeks ago, I have felt like a failure on and off since then.  If only I had worked harder, if only I’d trained more, if only I’d not put so much stock in these plans and started this blog and told everyone that I was this amazing hiker who would totally be a great thru hiker.  I have accepted that I bit off more than I could chew at the time, and I am working on being more positive about my abilities.  I am competitive by nature, and you can’t win at hiking, so I need to stop trying to win and just have fun.

As for this blog – you’ll see a few updates on some of the pages soon and the title will obviously change now that I’m not hiking the John Muir Trail in 2016.  I still want to hike the JMT eventually, but I don’t want to tie it to a year or a date yet.  I will continue to hike and backpack, though much less over the next two months or so as we move into our first home.  I will also continue to post trip reports, because it’s still really hard to find information about hikes in the Southern Wisconsin area after you’ve exhausted the well-known ones.

I am behind on a few trip reports from earlier this year, which I’ll be catching up on in the next several weeks.  I am also looking to post more gear reviews for some of my favorite and least favorite gear.  You can expect updates from me more regularly than I’ve been posting now that this is all out in the open.  I want to be just as helpful and give out as much information about big hikes like the Wonderland Trail and John Muir Trail as I can, even if these aren’t in my own plans right now.

This was hard to write, but I hope it wasn’t as hard to read.  I hope you’ll stick around to hear about my next adventure, even if it isn’t quite as grand as the one I’d planned!

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5 thoughts on “A Change of Plans

  1. you have entire live ahead of you and your husband to trek many trails, in many different fashions. But kudos for hiking with you husband!
    We about to cover another segment (circa 70 miles) of JMT starting in few weeks. I and my husband like the JMT going North, sun is behind you, the scenery unforgettabl crisp, and you actually seeing more people, because most hike in opposite direction. You must know how wonderful stories you hear on JMT,
    We actually need to connect with JMT, so we should have 100 miles enjoyed this year.
    Life is short, and being in prestine Gods creation for days is treat for everyone. By the way, I am 65 in couple of months and we will be celebrating my husbands 69 on a trail… keep on hiking!

  2. If you apply for a 500 mile PCT permit, you can get a Portal exit permit for $15.00. The PCT permits are free. If one we’re to start the first trail north or Tuoulnen one could walk almost the entire JMT. You would not be able to do the first 26 miles or so but that’s about it. With a long distance PCT permit you are allowed to exit down the portal to resupply. Or get off the trail due to a health issue. Though the permit system is now in place, and the demand is much greater than before, you just have to know how to use the system.

    • That’s a great point – however, to anyone who is planning to do this and not hike the 500 miles for the permit, I personally feel you should get a different one. That’s cheating the system and could potentially make it so that particular permit is harder to get in the future too.

  3. My boyfriend and I planned a JMT hike last summer, but we ended up starting too soon. We also did not realize that you could get a GPS that downloads that trail, so by day 3 or 4 we lost the trial, camped, and turned around.

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