A New Adventure

It has been over three years now since my first long distance backpacking journey, a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Since that time, I have primarily focused my energy on my professional development. While I have found immense satisfaction and a sense of purpose in this endeavor, I can’t help but find myself, particularly during some of the more hectic times, longing for the simplicity of trail life.

So when I finally managed to carve out some vacation time this summer, I knew I had to utilize it wisely. What better way to spend three weeks than to get outside after the completion of a rigorous professional training program? But where to go and explore? There were many prospective destinations to choose from, but when I heard about the majesty of the John Muir Trail (JMT) located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, I knew that if I got the chance, that was the trail for me.

The problem with the JMT is that a coveted permit must be secured in order to hike it – a tall order considering 97% of permit applications are ultimately denied due to the limited numbers allocated and the popularity of the trail. With that in mind, I put in my application, fully expecting to be declined, and making contingency plans. Much to my surprise and delight, I received notification of my successful application and began making plans for my latest adventure.

And so in a matter of a few weeks I will depart on a new journey. While not as long of a time commitment (I’ll be covering 220 miles rather than the nearly 2200 miles of the AT), I expect my JMT journey will be every bit as challenging and rewarding. Like most new things I have set out to accomplish, I feel woefully underprepared – both physically and logistically – for the hike. Yet despite these misgivings, nothing can dampen my excitement to get out in nature and on the trail again.


Until our paths cross again,


      Ashley Sylvan



2 thoughts on “A New Adventure

  1. Have Fun. Be Careful. Looking forward to your posts. You could have cycled the Amalfi Coast with us in late September. Two weeks in Italy !?



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