It’s early morning, late February, and we’re up with the sun in front of the computer, tapping refresh, waiting for Sierra wilderness permits to become available.
We’ve cobbled together a trip out of greatest hits and new adventures in what I’m pretty sure is both of our favorite mountain range in the world. The basic idea is to start at Kearsarge Pass, take a meandering route north—sometimes on the JMT, sometimes off trail—and end up near Piute Creek. Then I’ll run a bit further to Muir Trail Ranch to pickup a resupply, run back, and we’ll head up the creek to Humphrey’s Basin, where we’ll have a few more days to fumble around before exiting out Piute Pass.
The hour rolls over and I rush through the form. I’ve practiced this. The whole thing takes two minutes, then we have it—a two-page PDF that I’ll be dreaming about for the next six months. We drive part way to work together, in the bizarre shock of doing something you’ve planned to do but that nonetheless seems incredible. We say goodbye, and Krista smiles. “We’re doing this!”
The months roll by. We buy snowshoes and mostly figure out how to use them. We watch the thaw, and the flowers flow in from the east. Spring comes, then summer. I take my two-week trek in the Olympics, the whole time thinking how much better it’d be if Krista were there.
And then it’s here. The logistics are ridiculously easy: a few hotel reservations, a night of food prep, and a couple dozen trips to the liquor store.
The plan is to wake up early and drive all the way to Bishop in one go—700 miles and maybe 12 hours. It’ll be a long day, but nothing like the all-night affair we went through getting to the JMT a few years ago. There’ll be light, and we’ll be there, together.