You Shall Not Pass

So, after a month of applying for backcountry hiking permits for the John Muir Trail, Sylvie and I had to admit defeat.  We tried every permutation of applying that we could think of and all our applications were denied.  It was a very demoralizing process.  You would get your paperwork ready, all complete and detailed, and then fax it in (because, you know, this is the 21st Century so we fax things!?).  And then you wait.  You wait for the message that you hope says “your permit request has been approved and the temporary permit is attached.  Come pick up the full permit when you get here in July!”

But that message never came.

Instead we had day after day of rejection letters.  It was #firstworldproblems terrible.  The only thing I can really compare it to is the pain of young love, similar to when you’re in elementary school and you just want that cute SOMEONE to notice you.  But they never do.  Or worse, they clearly like your best friend.

One day, five o’clock came and went and we still hadn’t heard, so I thought for sure that meant that we had gotten our permit.  Maybe they send the rejection letters out first?  Then the lucky winners get their email later.  So, I went to sleep full of hope and happiness.  But, nope.  The reject email just came the next morning.



So, now what?  Well, the wee bit of winter we’ve had in Southern California has decided to take a hiatus, and summer is here for the moment.  Only we don’t get this kind of summer usually until the fall or sometimes Christmas.  It’s hot.  And a little humid.  On the days that the Santa Anas aren’t blowing, the air is gorgeous.  So, Sylvie and I started training again in the beautiful heat.  And, while it took a little while for the muscles that I hadn’t really used in two months to get going again, once they did, being on the trail felt as glorious as the view was stunning.


Sylvie says hello to the sparkling Santa Monica Bay.

So, we’ll enjoy the local trails for now as we continue to train.  And we’ll work towards hiking a large chunk of trail somewhere this summer, maybe not so large as 220 miles, but something that still challenges us.  Stay tuned for updates for where we decide to point our compass next!


Some trails are happy ones, others are blue.  It’s the way you hike the trail that counts. Here’s a happy one for you… Happy trails to you, until we meet again!





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