While many students sit at home during the summer and binge watch netflix, English teacher Adam Bearson and his son Nate took a 240-mile hike along the John Muir trail over the course of 25 days, averaging about 16 miles a day.
“The most challenging part was the summer storms,” said Mr. Bearson, “there were many weather extremes ranging from hail and snow to 100 degree weather, but mostly the experience was positive.”
“The best part of hiking had to be all the people you meet along the trail,” said Mr. Bearson. The father and son team would hike separately and meet up to eat or set up camp for the night.
The John Muir Trail starts in Yosemite Valley that goes through the Eastern Sierras and ends at the summit of Mount Whitney. The trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail which starts at the Mexico-United States border and finishes at the Canada-United States border.
The trail requires a lot of backpacking experience and is not fit for the amature hiker. At the end of the trail, the pair met a comical group of three teenage hikers who had never been hiking before and decided to complete the trail just the week earlier. Nate said “They were terrible. I don’t even know how they survived without food, planning or a water filter. We actually had to give them a stove.”
“My favorite memory is when we were at the top of Mather Pass and I threw a frisbee off the mountain. When we got to the bottom I spent a while looking for it and found another hiker’s,” said Nate.
Zach Hansen, who did five days of the trip with the Bearsons, says his favorite part was “swimming in the freezing water of Thousand Island Lake.”
One perk of long distance hiking is the food. “We ate a lot of candy bars to keep our morale up,” said Nate.
And with a beautiful view like the one provided by the John Muir Trail in accompaniment to the sugar, the trip was a bonding experience like no other.