This is an account of our group of ten hikers on the John Muir Trail, and the
successes and short comings.  We had some experienced hikers, and some
first timers.  Ages were from 13-52. Conditioning varied as did the desire to
be there. Marci and Teri came because I told them they needed to this or girls
                                                       camp.They decided they would go with us
                                                      so I bought them their equipment.
                                                       I asked Lisa and her friend
                                                      Emily to go. Wendy, didn't want to
                                                      be left out. Winston my nephew &  
                                                      Thomas (his cousin) were there by
                                                       invitation and default.
We arrived at Yosemite National Park                                                                
July 19th, 2006. The alternator died                                                                
in my 03 Diesel Ford E350 van.  We had Kent Carlin come to drive the van to
the end of the  trail for us. Tom (on the left), and I, Kevin (standing on the rock in
the back) sent the rest on the trail on (Picture 3) the morning of the 20th. We
went back to get the van on the road. I bought a new battery for the van and
hoped Kent would make home before it died. The stone bridge picture is at the
trail head.  We headed up 3 hours behind the rest. Tom and I (picture 4) are
about 1/2 mile up the trail at the mileage sign. Picture 5 is a look at Vernal Falls
from the bridge below. Most of the severe river crossings have a bridge . Picture  
                                                                               6 is of Nevada Falls. It was       
                                                                                raining very hard. The trail to  
                                                                                the top of Nevada Falls is        
                                                                                carved out of the cliff wall        
                                                                                which is hundreds of feet        
                                                                                high, and has rock wall         
                                                                              between the trail and the
                                                                              drop off.
At the Trail head we have Tom Busby,
Lisa Aston, Marci Aston, Emily Keller,
Teri Aston, Thomas Eames, Wendy
Aston, Winston Babb, Geoff Busby, and
Kevin Aston in the back
could find the other eight in our group.  He                                                                                                                                           
 caught up with Wendy and Lisa just before                                                                                                                                         
Nevada Falls, where they had found shelter
from the rain under some trees.  I caught up
with them there.  Emily and Geoff had made
it clear to the two story out house about a
mile up the trail. The rain mostly stopped so
we headed out to find the others. The five kids had set up a makeshift
shelter out of just the rain fly of the 4 man tent that Lisa was carrying.  It had
not worked very well and most of their things were wet. Picture 7 is of
Wendy on the bridge over the river at the top of Nevada Falls.  Just beyond
the bridge is a tree that Lisa is showing off. Wendy called  it the "bad hair
                                                                               tree".  We hiked to
                                                                               Little Yosemite Valley
                                                                               and cooked dinner. It had rained or drizzled almost all day.  We found some
                                                                               shelter from the rain under some trees where the trail split off to the camp
                                                                               ground.  We had hoped to have been to the Clouds Rest Trail head for the
                                                                               first night, but were way behind because of the rain, inexperienced hikers with
                                                                                                                            the kids, and me still being sick. We passed this
                                                                                                                            sign (9) just past Little Yosemite Valley as we were
                                                                                                                            trying to get farther before camping. We went
                                                                                                                            about 1 more mile and found a nice place to
                                                                                                                            camp off the hill on the right side of the trail.  
A Picture Diary of Our
Hike from Yosemite
National Park on the
John Muir Trail.
It stopped raining so those who had wet
things were able to hang them out to dry.
(10)  It was a pleasant night but when the
kids had set up their rain fly tent earlier,
they had soaked the two man tent so bad
that it was too wet to sleep in. The 6 kids
The water was running down the path and
was a couple of inches deep. I was glad for
the drains through the wall or the water
would have been much deeper. I had fallen
behind as I was sick still from a badly
infected tooth that I had pulled the Monday
before we started. Tom had left me so he
all piled into the 4 man tent. They had a rough night as they were to crowded.
I didn't realize they were laying there awake, or I would have had them split up
and use the other tent. We got up in the morning and were getting packed up
and Lisa got a bloody nose. She fought it for half an hour before she got it
under control. She lost so much blood I worried about her strength for the
rest of the day.  I was also hoping she was not having altitude problems as we
were only at 6500 feet. I wasn't sure how I was going to do either as I had
been so drained of energy the day before. I was on heavy doses of antibiotics
fighting the infection from my extracted tooth.   The trail Thursday had been
rocky, steep, and wet.  We were hoping it would be a little better today, but we
were wrong.  It rained a little on and off.  We were trying to get to Sunrise
Camp for that night. That meant that we had to hike more than 8 miles
because we had only gone 5.5 on Thursday. The first 3 miles were not to
steep. We saw some people coming our way and asked them how the trail
was, and they said sorry but it is really bad switchbacks. They were no joking.
My wife Wendy staggered to the top and kept asking if we were there yet.
From there it was a hour of mostly down hill and mosquitoes. Wendy was   
exhausted from lack of calories and over exertion. We stopped and fixed her
some food. The rest were at camp by then. We made it in about another half
hour.  Sunrise Camp is at 9400 feet. There is water running through the
camp, and solar toilets.  It was a good place to camp. It was a clear night and
several of the kids slept on a big flat rock. No bears tonight.  
The kids were all anxious to get on the trail and left us at camp to finish
cleaning up. Tom was our fastest hiker and needed to make it to the Post
office in Tuolumne Meadows (15) by noon so he could get our food we had
stashed there on our way in. Wendy and I were the last ones to leave but we
saw Teri and Thomas occasionally, and Lisa and Marci a couple of times.
There was some up hill until we got to the top of Cathedral Pass. (12) (13)
The trail started a long down hill toward Tuolumne Meadows.  Some places
were steep and switch backs, and we were glad we were going downhill. The
trail was not so rocky, but this made it slick as a fine layer of sand and small
gravel coated most of the trail.  Several times we would slip as the gravel
moved beneath us. We would have fallen several times except that we were
using trekking poles.  Wendy slipped once and her pole collapsed and as
she went down she twisted her leg under her and sat hard on her tail bone.  
It was several minutes until she could walk again. We hobbled down to the
road where we knew that Teri and Thomas were. They had called us on the
walkie talkie and told us Thomas had twisted his ankle.  Marci and Lisa had
already told us that they didn't want to go beyond Tuolumne Meadows.  This
was a little depressing for me as I had spend thousands to get them all there
and now that Wendy had been hurt she didn't feel that she could go on. We
visited the visitors center(16) and rode the shuttle around a little to see the
local sights. We called Kent Carlin to see if he could pick them up, which he
did Sunday afternoon. Wendy, Marci, Winston, Thomas and Teri left Tom,
Geoff, Emily, Lisa and I to go on.  After the five left the rest of us jumped on
the shuttle and went to the lodge and visited the showers, It felt great.
That evening  Tom, Geoff,
Emily, Lisa and I jumped
on the shuttle and went to
the lodge for our dinner
reservation. I was still struggling to eat after my tooth extraction, but I was able
eat my steak with out too much trouble. It took me a while longer than it took
the others, but I enjoyed every bite.  We walked back to camp, no shuttle that
late. I learned that you need to have cash or a card you can get cash from an
ATM machine as some places didn't have the ability to take credit cards. I
went to a sporting goods store and bought a pair of Keen sandals and zip off
pants.  I had sorted through all of my things, as did all of us and got rid of all
the things we really didn't need. We each left a couple of pounds of stuff.
Monday morning Tom, Lisa,
Geoff, Emily and I posed for
a picture as we were leaving
for Reds Meadows. (17)   It
felt funny to be down to five
of us. As we were leaving
the campground we passed
this sign. (18) It shows that
we had come 26 miles from
Yosemite Valley. Reds
Meadows is another 30 miles
from here. I was feeling
much better after having a
few days to get the infection
out of my system.  I was
ready to go, and was excited.
I have not mentioned the equipment that we are using. We have 3 GPS units, all
Garmin. One is a Rino 120. It worked well, but did not have enough memory to
hold all of the maps we needed for this trip. I also had a Rino 530 which I was a
little disappointed in. The radio would not always send, and I could  hear others
but they could not hear me. I did like that when the radios did work that it would
update on my map where those using the 120 were located at that moment. It
also had altimeter which would show elevation when GPS did not. Geoff had an
Etrex which worked well for following the map, but did not have the radio feature.
The Entrance to
Yosemite National
JMT Trip Pictures
Hiking From:
JMT Trip Pictures
Hiking From: