Andy and Chris have been hiking the John Muir Trail since Saturday, July 13. We've had one pretty thorough update from them, and I'm anxious-in-a-good-way for more trail intel. Hopefully, we'll be getting that today or tomorrow. Andy's wife, Suzy, got a satellite phone call from Andy about 9 p.m. Sunday. She was relieved to hear from him, even though the call was short and choppy.
Update! 6 p.m. Monday, July 22 - I got a satellite call from Andy and Chris just moments ago, and ... I let it go to voicemail. (Sorry, guys!) They reported covering 15 miles today, leaving them with 50 miles of their 200 over the next four days. No word on whether or not John caught up with them at the Ranch, but I'm hoping he did. They also promised more pics and stuff just as soon as they get some connectivity.
"He tried calling back a couple of times but each time it was just static," Suzy said. "But I did get a few details!"
The #JMT2013 crew had great connectivity at the beginning of the trip because they were near a ski resort. They crossed the Rubicon, so to speak, and we haven't gotten a text update since Tuesday, July 16. The crew at home didn't worry much until Sunday because by then, we knew they would have passed John Muir Ranch, which is not only the just-about-halfway point, but it also promised WiFi. (They planned to overnight at the ranch Saturday, and since they were staying on pace, we knew by Friday morning that was realistic.)
"They hope to have reception in a day or two, and definitely at the top of Mt. Whitney," Suzy reported. "They have tons of photos and blog posts to send in once they are able to."
They're averaging 15 miles each day, which is a little shy of their goal, which they set at 17 miles a day. But the guys are committed to their finish and their timeline.
In one day they covered "21 miles because they needed to get to the Muir Ranch where they restocked food supply," Suzy tells us. "They are all doing great and feeling good, but Andy did mention he wished he had brought more Advil."
Well, if that's Andy's only regret so far, we say he's doing very well for an average guy who trained hard while also balancing a job and a family!
Speaking of family, Andy and Suzy have two girls, ages 6 and 9. So, I've been thinking a lot about the impact his absence and this exciting adventure has on his family.
"This weekend was probably the hardest as we missed Andy, and it sunk in that we were only half way there," Suzy said.
The girls are, of course, trying to understand 200 miles of hiking.
"The farthest they've hiked is three miles and when I told them there was a day Dad hiked 21 miles, they were blown away," she said. "They ask me questions about the hike. Does he have to hike back to the beginning? Is it uphill? How will he get back to the start of the hike? They're having a hard time understanding that this is a one-way (thru) hike.
The girls told their mom that if they had to hike the John Muir Trail, it would take them a year and they would need to rest a lot and take tons of naps, she says.
So, while we're exceptionally anxious to know how it's going (and relieved to know Andy, Chris and Paul are safe), it's been awesome to have some ideas on their progress, thanks to Paul's location device and regular updates.
More to come ... lots more! The guys promise!
#JMT2013: Hoping for an Update!
By Juliette Rule
July 22, 2013
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