“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
A Radiant Wilderness Experience
This August, I'll be hiking 240 miles over 17 days on the John Muir Trail in the High Sierra of California—and I want to bring you along.
The equivalent of nine marathons and with an elevation gain of 47,000 feet, this bucket list adventure will take me over 10 mountain passes, through three national parks, two national forests, and even to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Named after the famed naturalist, John Muir, it will challenge me physically, mentally, and spiritually.
To support this monumental project, I'm launching a new line of nature-based, mindfulness offerings, including my new outdoor-themed mindfulness card deck (popular on my Yoga Hikes), a limited-edition JMTeam screen-printed shirt, and exclusive audio meditations and video yoga practices.
Classes during the trip
During this three-week trip, classes at the studio will still take place, though on a streamlined schedule. My good friend and fellow yoga teacher, Bonnie Goodvin, will be leading classes each week. Stay tuned for the details of that schedule.
In addition, this JMTeam membership is your opportunity to further access Radiant Wellness Solutions offerings, as joining our “team” brings you a host of home practice resources. See side bar at right for details on each membership level.
Interested in a sneak peek to learn more? Join us at our JMTeam Launch on Saturday, June 8, at the studio for a free yoga class focusing on the five elements of nature, followed by conversation about the hike, our gear, and all the behind-the-scenes effort to pull it off (Contact me to save a mat for the yoga class at 9-10 am, and/or drop by for the reception at 10 am if you’re interested in the hike details but can’t make the class).
In talking with friends, students, and clients about this adventure, I’ve received a number of questions about my trip.
Who’s going on the trip?
My husband J. and I (fascinating fact: we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary while on the trail).
How long is the hike?
The John Muir Trail is 210 miles from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mt. Whitney, but we’ll be hiking approximately 240 miles, due to the difficulty in procuring the necessary permits.
Will the studio be closed?
No. As mentioned above, my friend and fellow yoga teacher, Bonnie Goodvin, will teach a slate of classes during the few weeks while I’m away. Plus, this JMTeam program is my way of keeping a “virtual yoga studio”—and the community that accompanies it—up and running while I’m away.
What is the longest day?
Our longest day of hiking will be 21 miles. Our plan is to hike about 14.5 miles/day.
What (and how) will you eat?
We’ll eat a lot of granola, dried fruit, nuts, and energy bars. For dinner, we’ll eat mostly dehydrated meals that we’ll re-hydrate with boiling water (lotsa beans, rice, etc.). For protein, we’ll focus on beef jerky and pepperoni, as well as foil-packaged tuna and salmon. Meal planning and prep is a little more difficult because of my gluten and dairy allergies, but we like to cook, so we’re working through that additional challenge just like at home. Due to the weight and distance, we’ll arrange resupply drops along the hike, so we don’t have to carry all of our food supply the entire time. A few weeks prior to our hike, we’ll send buckets of food to two locations adjacent to the trail (Muir Trail Ranch and Reds Meadow).
Are you worried about bears?
Not really. They typically scatter when you shoo them off or bang on pots and pans. To keep them clear of our camp, however, we’ll be carrying all our food in (a required) bear-proof canister.
Who is John Muir?
Known as the “Father of the National Parks,” John Muir (1838-1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist and environmental activist who played an integral role in establishing Yosemite National Park and co-founded the Sierra Club. Construction of his namesake trail began in 1915 and was completed in 1938.
Why are you doing this?
To quote John Muir, “the mountains are calling, and I must go.” Our family has always loved the outdoors, and it’s been a longtime dream to take a trip of this magnitude. On the spiritual front, it’s a unique opportunity to unplug and spend time fully immersed in nature.
Will you be able to take showers along the trail?
Nope. We’ll rinse off in mountain lakes and streams.
How will you go potty?
Carefully. We’ll be required to dig a 6” “cat hole” to bury our deeds. So we’ll carry a trowel on our journey.
How much will your pack weigh?
Our pack weight amounts will vary as we consume food (and pick up our resupplies). At this stage of planning, our heaviest moment on Day One will be about 45 pounds for J. and about 35 pounds for me.
Are you crazy?
No. Mary Oliver asks, “What will you do with this one wild and precious life?”
JMTEAM MEMBERSHIP LEVELS
(17 hiking days)
You receive: my outdoor-themed mindfulness card deck and 5-minute audio meditation.
(25-degree temp rating on my sleeping bag)
You receive: all of the above plus a limited edition JMTeam t-shirt
(35 pounds in my pack)
You receive: all of the above plus an additional 10-minute video yoga practice
(my pack holds 58 liters)
You receive: all of the above plus an additional 20-minute, rest-based audio meditation and a 25-minute video yoga practice