We have come a long way in our planning, let me tell you!
We have had a few changes such as I don't think my 18 year old will be joining us. It's just how things go with an adult son! It is disappointing to not have the extra set of hands and eyes and someone to carry some of the load, but it may be for the better!
This weather is just crazy! More snow in the sierras this last weekend is not GOOD for those of us trying to get over Tioga pass. I think we'll be lucky if Highway 120 is open by July 1st! We are now hoping to start our trip by July 3 (instead of in June,) but we are still waiting to see when it will warm up and melt that snow.
My hiking partner, Brigid (also a fabulous photographer!) and I set up a blog to document some of the challenges of planning our trip, hiking and just being moms! http://twonuttymoms.wordpress.com/
My youngest three children are very excited for our John Muir Trip. Brigid and I took the lil' bits to Yosemite Valley, just overnight, a few weeks ago and we just happened to be there on John Muir's BIRTHDAY! We watched a movie about the "Spirit of Yosemite" at the visitors center that included some information at John Muir. I have also come to find out that my four year old son is talking to his friends, their parents, and his teachers about our upcoming trip and about John Muir. It is so exciting to me!
We also returned to Yosemite Valley and Happy Isles visitors center on its opening day which was also Junior Ranger Day. My little girl is now a Junior Ranger, too! Happy Isles is traditionally the "starting point" for the JMT's 212 mile trail to Mt Whitney. (We will only do a 37 mile portion between Tuolumne Meadows and Reds Meadow.)
A large multi-family yard sale is planned for next Saturday, May 21, with most of my proceeds going to fund our trip. We will also have a bake sale, BBQ and carwash so if anyone is in the central valley, stop on by!
We have two of our packs, and all of the sleeping bags we need. High on my list of what we still need to get is our water purification systems. I would like to have three - one "pump" style, one of the gravity-type (sorry, I don't know what its called!) and then have chemicals on hand as back up. And then there is always boiling as a back up to the back up! We are also still looking for a GPS/beacon.
I'm seriously considering a "dunnage drop" half-way through our trip to bring us the last 50 (or so) pounds of food, supplies and fuel. Just one hiker to meet us about 15 miles from the end of our trip so we don't have to carry the whole supply with us. It would only take 2 days, but it's looking like it may cost around $400 to do so.
I met the search and rescue team at Happy Isles and told them that I really don't want to see them again! On a serious note, I was encouraged that they didn't seem to think that I was too insane for planning this trip. They said as long as we camp and stay near the trail, we should be fine. Not a problem!
I couldn't make it to a Wilderness First Aid class in Sacramento a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping that I will find one nearby soon!
That's our update for now! I'm going to see if I can upload a picture of my newest Junior Ranger! ;)
Marlena in Modesto, CA
--- In email@example.com, "Adrian" <avon1944@...> wrote:
> Hello Marlena, I have backpacked with my children but, none as young as yours. I am happy to hear you are willing to attempt a trip of that magnitude and duration. I will respond to a few of your questions;
> 1) Yosemite permits are given out on a first come first serve basis, if obtained in person and if done by mail a certain number of permits are allowed to be passed out on a first applied for to first awarded. The permit covers the group. If you order the permit ahead of time plan on the maximum number of people you could expect on the trip.
> The permits regulate the number of people that can be accommodated at each initial campsite in the back country. Check with the rangers on permits AND.... from the Tuolumne Meadows trail-head, how far do you have to travel before making camp? It varies depending upon where you are going to camp. I am not familiar with the destinations you are going to. I only took my children backpacking at May Lake (great as a first backpacking trip), Tuolumne Meadows to Glenn Aulin High Sierra Campground and, snowcamping at Badger Pass. At the May Lake camping ground, the last week of June 1991, we have heavy rain the first afternoon and an a hail-storm the second afternoon (4" of hail in three hours! Hwy #120 was closed because of the hail, until the snow clearing trucks could clear the highway!) Rain & storms in the afternoon are common in the Sierra Mountain Range in the summer, so be prepared!
> Your two oldest boys can carry their full loads plus help you, younger children with their massive load. (I remember once a multi-day ski touring trip from Badger Pass with a fifty-five pound pack with my son!) The people who coming with you helping out with the load can be a real blessing. Your three year old will have to be carried a fair portion of the trip, correct? That can be a real load.
> 2) The boys 6yo and 4yo if limited to a pack that is twenty percent of their regular weight, could leave a fair amount left over. I know nothing about bear canisters.
> 4) I use the "First Need" water filter, you will have to research which one is right for you... capability versus price.
> Best of luck -Adrian
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "birthnlove" <Heylove@> wrote:
> > I am so happy to be here! My name is Marlena, and I am the mother of five - boys ages 18, 12, 6, 4 and my baby girl is 3. I take the younger three camping (solo) frequently, and this summer I am planning on taking them to the back country. I am blessed to live in California (Modesto-the "3rd Most Miserable City in America!") and am only about two hours from Yosemite.
> > Thanks so much!
> > Marlena