Jeff and the JMT

And where do we go from here? Below is a quick update from Lori.

Hello all –

I’m sending this to you from Lone Pine, California.

Jeff and Theresa exited the Whitney Portal at 11;30 this morning.  They were greeted by Mark, Nicky, myself, Denise (Jeff’s wife) and Garett (their son).

They came out with huge smiles on their faces – both glad and sad that the adventure is over.  They experienced some tough weather challenges and of course some tough but incredible hiking and non stop beautiful scenery.  We went straight down into Lone Pine where they both devoured burgers and fries. Tonight it’s pizza!!

We all part ways tomorrow.  Mark and I will take Theresa to Las Vegas where she will head home to Idaho for a week before departing for another 200 mile hike on the Arizona Trail.  Yep she is a little crazy….but in great hiking shape.

Jeff, Denise and Garett head to Utah where they will watch speed races on the Salt Flats. Jeff and Denise will then head out on a month long road trip.

Nicky heads to her grandmas’s in LA before heading back to Flagstaff.

Mark and I head out in less than 2 weeks for a trip to Iceland and Italy.

Finally – at this moment Mark and Nicky plan to complete the JMT in the summer of 2019.  They might start from the Muir Trail Ranch and hike that way. They have 90 miles to completion.

Thanks for reading all my emails.  It’s been quite and adventure for all.

Below – the hikers reunited!!

September 14 – THE DAY IS HERE!!!!!

We are early and we are sitting at the Trailhead (8,000 feet up). The pic below is our first glimpse of the Sierra’s.

Yes, I’m excited !

The welcoming crew. Mark, Lori, Nicki, Garet

September 13-Almost Time

Today, Jeff and Theresa should have arrived at Mt Whitney which is actually the end of the trail. In the morning they will walk the final 12 miles down to the Whitney Portal.

Garett and I are in Panamint Springs and will drive to the Portal in the morning. Yes, we will be there anxiously waiting for them to arrive. Am I excited- YES!!!!!

September 11- update received

Jeff and Theresa are progressing on the trail as planned. Another hiker friend updated Mark that they are going to be finishing the trail on the 14th as planned. My next post should be pics of the two hikers and combined group. Yeah!!

September 8-update on Mark and Nicky

Below is an email I received from Lori. It sounds like she will be sharing info re Jeff and Theresa soon

Hello all —

Nicky and Mark made it out to Bishop early this  afternoon and called me around 1:30.  They are both doing fine.  Here’s what they told me:

This past Saturday Nicky strained a calf muscle while crossing a creek.  Her foot slipped off a rock and combined with that and  the weight of her backpack she felt an immediate strain.  She was unable to walk for several hours and they ended up taking the next day off to see if it would heal up a bit.  Jeff and Theresa were already a full day ahead and they knew they couldn’t catch up.  They made the decision to take a different route out.

They actually really enjoyed the route out that they ended up on.  Said it was simply stunning.  Because of the shorter days hiking Mark got some extra fishing in – and for those of you thatknow Mark – that was a great thing. They’ve hiked almost 175 mile – a huge accomplishment.

They were able to send word ahead with other hikers to let Jeff and Theresa know their plans.  They are definitely planning on meeting them at the Whitney Portal on Wednesday.  FInally they plan on sometime in the future completing the hike.  Both are in great spirits.

September 7- 6 days/7 days

In six days Jeff and Theresa will complete the JMT at Mt. Whitney. The trail ends on the top of the mountain and they will spend the night at camp Whitney. On the seventh day, they will hike down to the Whitney Portal and complete their 250 mile journey.

Mark, Nicky, Garett and I will be at the portal anxiously awaiting their arrival. I certainly can’t tell you how excited we will be to see them at the end of this journey.

Since the team separated, I have not heard from Jeff. I know that God is watching over them and I’m so thankful for our many friends that are praying for a safe journey. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

September 5 – A bump in the Road

We noticed some unusual pings from SPOT yesterday and around 6pm, I received a call from Lori regarding what was happening on the trail. Below is the info that Lori sent out this morning:

Good morning all —

Just to start – it’s been a crazy couple of days for those of us that closely follow the satellite pings. We noticed on Saturday that there was an unexpected break in the pings and then the direction turned back to the the north and continued in that direction both Sunday and Monday.  Kinda know something was amiss.

Thankfully Mark was able to get me an email yesteray from the Muir Trail Ranch.  Here is the text:

Nicky and I are fine. Nicky hurt her calf muscle and had to take a day off. We are hiking now, but cannot make up the time and distance. Our plan is to hike over Piute Pass into North Lake and then catch a ride to Bishop. It should take us 4 days and plan to be in Bishop by the 10th. I hiked down to MTR to send this and restock our food from the buckets here. Jeff and Theresa went on and should still complete the hike on time. We will meet them at Whitney Portal.

Nicky and I miss you! Love you much.

I’ll call from Piute Pass or when we get into Bishop.

Don’t worry, we are doing well. Nicky Hiked 5 miles today without much difficulty. We plan to do about five miles each day

I think that tells you everything that I currently know.  The good news is everyone is doing fine.  Jeff and Theresa are great hiking partners and will get to the end to be greeted by Mark and Nicky.  We no longer have satellite communication with Jeff and Theresa so send them an extra little prayer.

Mark and Nicky get to continue their great adventure just on a different path.  They are still surrounded by the magnificence of the Sierras and will still have hiked close to 200 miles by the time the come out.

I will update you as soon as I have anything to share.

Thanks all!!

Lori

September 3 – Update info from Lori (Marks’s wife and Nicky’s momma)

Hello all –

My sister Julie and her husband Mark  spent 36 hours with the hikers at the Muir Trail Ranch which was day 16 of hiking and 129 miles from the start.  All the hikers are doing well and are in great spirits.

Jeff got a 90 minute massage from a professional masseuse.  Theresa made the extra trek to the hot springs there by crossing what sounds like a  a raging San Joaquin River.  Everyone enjoyed 4 real hot meals and hot baths and a real bed for one night.

Since leaving the MTR they appear to have made good progress on the first day out – approximately 11 miles.  Yesterday there progress was slowed by what we are assuming was some bad weather. My sister said there has been a lot of thunderstorm activity in the area.

As of the latest satellite ping I’m guessing they are approximately 150 miles into the hike with 89 very difficult miles to go.  Below are 2 pictures from the MTR.  Hello all –

I have not had (or expected) any communication from the hikers since we parted company in Mammoth last Saturday.

My sister Julie and her husband Mark  spent 36 hours with the hikers at the Muir Trail Ranch which was day 16 of hiking and 129 miles from the start.  All the hikers are doing well and are in great spirits.

Jeff got a 90 minute massage from a professional masseuse.  Theresa made the extra trek to the hot springs there by crossing what sounds like a  a raging San Joaquin River.  Everyone enjoyed 4 real hot meals and hot baths and a real bed for one night.

Since leaving the MTR they appear to have made good progress on the first day out – approximately 11 miles.  Yesterday there progress was slowed by what we are assuming was some bad weather. My sister said there has been a lot of thunderstorm activity in the area.

As of the latest satellite ping I’m guessing they are approximately 150 miles into the hike with 89 very difficult miles to go.  Below is a picture of the, leaving the ranch. It’s all I’ve got to share because there is -0- cell service at the ranch.

Hoping to hear more if they get signal on one of the high passes.

September 2. – Still making progress

Below is a pic of SPOT and it shows they are still moving forward. We are not sure if they are experiencing the heat of the west coast. I’m guessing when they go over the pass today, it will cool down for them. They should be approximately 142 miles into their trek and are now about 90+ miles from completion. Today they should be walking the John Muir Pass at 11,980 feet. I have not talked with Jeff but have been told that his shoulder is a bit achey. I’m sure when you carry 40 lbs for two weeks, your shoulders aren’t the only things that aches.

September 1 – Pics from the in-laws

Mark’s brother and sister-in-law hiked into the JMT Ranch and spent the day with the group as they re-supplied. When I hear more about the visit, I will post updates.

August 30 – A few more pics

Still hoping to have a text by the end of the day. Until that time, Lori shared a few pics she received from the group last week. Hope you enjoy.

Update 11:00 pm: They have arrived at the JMT Ranch. I still have not talked to them but SPOT shows them at the ranch. They will now have about 30+ hours to shower, sleep, do laundry and shower a few more times. From the looks of the schedule, the next two weeks on the trail will be quite difficult.

Pics: Jeff and Theresa waiting out the hail storm in an outhouse (yes, Jeff looks very tired), eclipse fun, Donahue Pass at sunrise (this was their first big climb), Cathedral Pass and Thousand Island Lake.

August 29- late pm – SPOT update

It appears from their SPOT tracker they are at Marie Lakes just short of Seldon Pass. Apparently they will climb the pass tomorrow and then drop into the John Muir Ranch at the end of the day. By my chart, they have completed almost 104 miles. More info tomorrow.

August 29 – Hoping to hear from Jeff today

After the hikers left Mammoth, I knew it would be several days before I heard anything from Jeff. Today, they should arrive at the John Muir lodge for showers, meals and a resupply of food for their journey (hoping for wifi at the lodge). In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a few of the pics Jeff sent to me last week from the trail.

August 26- info from Lori

Marks wife met up with the group in Mammoth. They had two night at the village and time to get supplies, regroup, resupply and shower (multiple times). Below are her thoughts and a few pics.

Lori: We all had a great  but brief time together in Mammoth and the hikers are now back on the trail.  After today’s hike the’ve gone approximately 93 miles with 146 to go.

In the 36 hours the hikers were here in Mammoth they each took 3 showers, ate a lot of fruits and vegies, drank beer, did some shopping and repacked their packs with the next food supply.

Each hiker has a trail name – I’m not revealing who is which but here they are:

Peaches, Doc Flint, Toes, and Gordon Bailey Hoover…..

In the next few day I will be sending out personal insights and photos from each of the hikers that they’ve shared with me and I just need some time to put it all together.

I can tell you that the low point for all was the hailstorm/thunderstorm that separated them in 2 groups over night.  Mark and Nicky spent the night together in a one man tent and got about 2 hours of sleep.  Jeff and Theresa had to huddle together in an outhouse for over 2 hours singing songs from Annie (I believe “Tomorrow” was the song) to pass the time.  They were all exhausted from that  experience.

The highlights are too long to list but just being out there and the people their meeting along the way .  They are having a great time out there despite some of the difficulties.  Below are the pictures I took as we met with them on the trail on Thursday.

Pics: Jeff, Theresa, Mark and Nicky (Mark’s Daughter)

August 25- pics from Jeff’s camera.

August 25-Mammoth (Jeff writing)

This is the first time I have gotten to blog. The JMT has been quite awesome and inspiring. But I would be remiss if I said everything is running smoothly. We started with rain in the pm for our first 4 days, culminated by a 2 hour hail storm one evening. After this breaking in period, the weather has been quite pleasant. Besides sore feet and adapting to the outdoor duties of camping, cooking, cleaning and what bears do in the woods; we have been and continue to be truly blessed during this walk.  We four are adapting to each other’s space, pace, needs, wants and have really jelled into a cohesive team.

The people we have met on trail; 70+ yr old lady in running shoes, skirt, and 25lbs into her 400th mile of 600 by herself (she walked faster than anyone I have seen); an MSU professor and nephew; two Calgary guys offering us shelter; German couple (gutentag Simon) and many other nationalities, age ranges and groupings. It is amazing how everyone bands together to help each other on trail. Whether asking for decent camp sites, water crossing issues, sharing food and camp sites, mosquito areas, fishing spots, or just walking by with a smile and kind words, “safe travels” – this continues to instill great confidence in the compassion and generosity of people to people.

I also want to thank the Trail Angels. They may be someone you know or not. But they are such an intrigal piece of a great journey. The biggest for us are Denise and Lori. We couldn’t have set foot on the trail without them. Thank you, thank you!  Barbara just handed me her Dirty Girl gaiters – what a gift!  Thank you so much!

No pics from me, I’ll keep pushing them to Denise for updating. I just wanted to get some of my feelings down on “paper.” – Jeff

Everyone is excited to get a new supply of dehydrated food. Yum yum.

August 24-Mammoth
The gang is all together in Mammoth for a short day and a half rest, relaxation and real food. Jeff has lost 7 1/2 lbs, Mark has lost 4 lbs.  Nicki and Theresa are holding onto their start weight.  Picture attached from Devils Postpile that includes Lori on the right and Theresa’s mom, Barbara on the left.


August 22 – phone call and text received.

At 10 am, they are at the top of the Donahue Pass – this was a big climb.

Everyone is great and doing well. Loving their freeze dried food and they have plenty to eat. Jeff and Mark got to fish yesterday afternoon and smiled all evening long.

Info from Lori: They are are now 56 miles in with 184 to go.  They are about 1/2 day behind schedule.  Mark and Nicky got separated over night from the others 3 days ago when they got caught in a heavy thunder and hail storm which forced them to hunker down. They are skipping today’s scheduled rest day in order to meet us all in Mammoth on Thursday afternoon.

Enjoy their pics.

10 am and standing on Donahue Pass, 11,070′

August 20 – Update from Lori

Not a lot to report as we did not hear from the hikers when they passed through Tuolumne Meadows to pick up their 1st food resupply.  They look to be fairly close to the projected distance of 52 miles done and 186 to go.  The satellite tracking appears to be inconsistent especially if they get into a canyon. I do however get an update at the end of every day.

Tomorrow is a big hiking day for them with approximately a 10 mile day and going over Donahue Pass at 11,060 feet.  This is the 1st big pass but with 5 days under their hiking feet hopefully they are all feeling a little stronger.  Of course their packs are now 10 pounds heavier with the food supply.

I had a very good question posed after my last update – how are they charging their cell phones – both Mark and Theresa are carrying solar chargers that weigh only ounces. They are kept outside of their backpacks during the day and are used to charge both phones which are serving as cameras and the satellite device.  Maybe there will be a cell signal up on the pass tomorrow and they can get us a message or picture.

I will probably update again when I meet up with them on the trail in Mammoth Lakes.  I promise to pass on a few stories and pictures as well.

Wishing you all clear skies for the eclipse tomorrow…

Lori

August 19

They are making progress moving through the Yosemite Valley. This is what I see from SPOT and it shows their start at the bottom of the pic and their latest update at the top.

August 17-

At 1:08 pm (pacific) today they have made it to Vernal Falls in the Yosemite Valley. Just getting their first glimpse into the Yosemite canyon. Jeff said they had a good storm yesterday afternoon that lasted a couple hours. Good time for them to relax. They have traveled approximately 22 miles.

Pics from Jeff: Jeff on the trail, meadow at the top of Yosemite, view into Yosemite, Theresa falling into a rock and Mark and Nicky.


August 15- On The Trail-

At 11:30 they hit the trail.


August 14- First Food Drop in Yosemite

The 1st photo of the foursome together.  In their hands is the 1st food resupply being dropped off at Tuolumne Meadows.  The buckets contain 5 days worth of food for 4.

From left to right – Jeff Sigworth, Theresa Sotamayor, Mark and Nicky Wyman.


August 13 – We’re headed to Yosemite

Lori waved good bye as we are heading west to CA. Below is her note regarding our trip:

The hikers departed Idaho and Arizona this morning and will connect in Lee Vining, Calif early tomorrow for their drive from the east side to the west side of Yosemite NP.  They will depart on the big adventure early Tuesday morning.  I hope to have a picture to share of them at the trailhead.

I will be seeing them in Mammoth Lakes, Calif  on August 24th when they come off the trail for a 2 day break with friends and family – including Theresa’s mom who is flying from Wisconsin to join us.

That will be the only time they come out and  I hope to have  a few good stories to share with you.

Keep them in your thoughts.

(Lori waving good bye)

—————————–

August 13 – The car is packed and we begin our two day drive to the Yosemite trail head on Sunday morning (Aug 14). Get ready……the hike is about to begin.

Mark and Theresa are looking forward to the hike.

—————————–

August 9 – Preparing to hit the trail (feet on the ground August 15) during our stay in Idaho. Below is a bit of info from Lori.

Trail participants– Jeff, Mark Wyman and his daughter Nicky and a good friend a Theresa Sotomayor.

Mark, Jeff and Theresa depart Idaho for the Sierras on Sunday to meet up with Nicky on Monday. Since Jeff has arrived they have done a couple of long hikes – one with full loads. In the photo – Jeff is on the left and Mark on the right.  They will take one more really long hike on Friday.

I’m hoping the next photo will be of the hikers will be just as their about to depart on the trail.

If you have any additional interest in the immensity of their undertaking watch the movie – Mile, Mile and a Half which was the original inspiration for what their about to do.

More soon.

—————————–

July 31– How do you pack your food for 30 days? In pickle containers that get mailed to various locations along the trail, of course. Don’t forget, trail guides go in the backpack

Watch here for updates as I walk the JMT

The trail map:

Passes and basins:

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