JMT 2: nine days on the John Muir Trail

If last year's trek was The Walk, this year's sequel -- from Mono Creek where we left off last time to Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park -- was an even more challenging test of will. Susan and I were fortunate to be joined by our friend Erik, the renowned nature photographer . Alas, Cousin Zach, who'd added so much to the general joie de vivre of our merry band last time out couldn't join us, having done spent his hiking mojo for the year on some silly peaks in Italy of all places.

Somewhere in the one year it took me to plan this, I trimmed JMT 2 down a day -- to nine days and 100-something miles, ending at Cedar Grove on the west side rather than Onion Valley on the east. (Something about humping it over Kearsarge Pass on the final day and then doing a 550-mile car shuttle didn't quite add up.)