693 forum posts
A couple months ago my older daughter Molly (23) called me up all excited with a big idea: "Let's do the JMT next summer!" She's finishing her Masters degree and wants to celebrate with an adventure. She thought that just us two could do it fast and light, but my wife quite justifiably threw her hat in the ring, and then it's only natural that Zoe (19) should join the party. My wife has whipped herself into pretty good shape in the last year or so, but her knees aren't up to daily big mileage and elevation so we're figuring to slow it down, take 25 days including a couple zeros and maybe a few side trips.
Normally I'm opposed to big groups in the wilderness, but over the years we've shared a few adventures with another family back in VT (we call them the Happy Family) one of whom is a childhood friend of Zoe's, so we extended an invite to them. As it turns out Zoe's friend will join us for the whole thing, Happy Dad for most (still uncertain, but my guess is he'll join us at Mammoth), and the other two as much as possible depending on other commitments. So we may be 8 at times, but we'll try to be quiet.
Well we just got our permit for a July start at Mono Meadows (instead of the zoo on the trail up from Happy Isles) so with that green light I figured I'd let the cat out of the bag. I've already put in a lot of time planning mileage and food, and still have a long way to go on the latter, trying to avoid too many freeze-dired meals because they are expensive and bulky, especially on a per calorie basis. Any tips on how to fit, let's see... 6 people x 3500 calories/day x 7days = aprrox. 150,000 calories worth of food into 4 or 5 700 cu.in. Bear Vaults? I guess we could eat nothing but peanuts and olive oil on the longer stretches...
"Mature" because I'll hit 60 before we go, my wife will turn 58 on the trail, and our daughters are pretty much all grown up.