Before it Gets Dark / by Heidi Riggs

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. ~John Muir

Since I was a child and my parents took me to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (known simply to us as Canoe Country), the call of the wild has been very real. And much harder to come by, the older I get.

Backpacking here at home is lovely, yet somehow missing that epic quality I experienced as a child. The idea of through hiking the John Muir trail from beginning to end appealed to me: thoroughly. My husband either joined my quest through mutual interest or through a desire to keep me from attempting the feat alone: or maybe some combination of these two factors.

Almost from the beginning, we knew a through-hike wasn’t going to happen. Permit application after application was denied. Yosemite was receiving hundreds of applications for each of the 20 reserved daily spots. So we selected a little-known trailhead and an alternate start, and made our plans to hike MOST of The Trail.

The Trail had other ideas.

A journal of our 2015 adventure is posted here: