Yes on the John Muir Trail
I once was asked what my favorite word was. After shifting through the abounding possibilities, I found no immediate answer, but after some thought, I eventually answered “yes”. What strikes me about the word “yes” is its ability to deliver change. Every “yes” made is an invitation to a fresh experience. “Yes” beckons change, which entices excitement and enjoyment.
Two years ago, in 2012, when I was given the opportunity to partake in Hante John Muir Trail, I was immediately interested. Just the name of Muir invokes images of the high Sierras, an area promised to be one of the most scenic and powerful that exists on our Earth. The trip was described as including days of rock climbing, backpacking the incredible trail, and reveling in the beauty and mystic of the mountains of the West. Going on Hante would mean missing camp at Eagle’s Nest for the first year, a decision that I initially was challenged by. However, I was reassured by the knowledge that camp would still be there when I was to next return, and Hante’s calling of great adventure compelled to say “yes”.
Hante soon shattered my definition of a room with a view. For three weeks we slept on the banks of pristine lakes and underneath a sky of shooting stars.
I was immediately amazed and inspired by the same legendary mountains that had caused John Muir to devote his life to wilderness, the western skyline of exhilarating peaks that call devoted hikers and adventurers back year after year. Each imposing pass our Hante group conquered, each splendid valley we descended into, every single step I took along the trail absorbed and roused my imagination, gave realization to my sense of adventure, and served as a physical embodiment of the word yes. “Yes” to the mountains, “yes” to adventure, and “yes” to the magnificent world. We walked through moments of extreme beauty as a testament to the days that surrounded us, took each challenge as a group, and at the end of each day fell asleep under an expanse of stars so vast that I never forget them for a second. I fell in love with the Sierra Nevadas, I fell in love with the John Muir Trail (an easy thing to do after spending any amount of time there), and I am overwhelmingly gratified that to Hante, I said “yes”.