One of the joys of going deep into the back-country is the fact that I get to unplug from the many demands of my regular life. We live in a world of information overload, almost never turning off our devices, never turning off the sphere of influence, social programming and hence, our brains. So for me, retreating into the back-country is a way to simplify my life. And yet, nothing about preparing for the JMT is simple. By the time we make it to the trail head, we will probably feel like we've already climbed Mt. Whitney.
Managing the logistics of resupplies, gear upgrades, food planning, mileage planning and drop off/ pick up logistics is an epic adventure in and of itself. I joined the JMT list serves and Facebook groups in order to glean useful information. And I've gotten that information- and then some. Never did I imagine that I would lay awake at night agonizing over whether to purchase trail runners or hiking boots, ultra-light rain gear or run-of-the-mill ponchos. Gear was suddenly discussed, not by brand, but by ounces. Do I really need that 4 ounce sleeping pillow? And the early season snow reports? It's enough to make my head spin. I'm starting to get the hint that this is no ordinary walk in the park.