Well, our backpacks are packed, our food resupplies have been sent, our shuttles have been arranged. At this point, there is nothing left for us to do, but GO. We are just 3 days away from the start of our epic adventure- an adventure that began exactly 8 years ago today in Yosemite. On that day, Paul and I met for the first time and walked the first 9-miles of the John Muir Trail together, as part of the Elevation-SF hiking group. We had a big adventure ahead of us that day, as we began the 19-mile journey from Curry Village to the top of Half-Dome and back. Little did we know that our journey together would take us much further than those 19-miles, with peaks and valleys that rivaled even those of Yosemite. On that day, we were still strangers, unaware of all that was to come. What a journey it has been, and will continue to be.
Our life together began on the John Muir Trail. And to the trail we return exactly 8 years later. On that pre-dawn morning 8 years ago, mere minutes after Paul and I first met, we spotted three bears wandering through the forest just off the trail. Three bears, clearly a family and clearly at home. And although we didn't know it at the time, I like to think that those three bears were like the three of us- at home in the sanctuary of each other and of the great outdoors. Indeed, Sara has never known a life without the influence of the back-country. Its in her blood, as it is in mine. Growing up deep in the Rocky Mountains, the familiar 14,000 foot peaks that surrounded my hometown of Telluride, Colorado were like familiar friends who kept me safe at night and kept me rooted in something always bigger than myself.
And so, in the famous words of John Muir himself, "The mountains are calling, and I must go."