M Map and Compass: A City-girl Walks Western Wilderness

by Anne O'Regan

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Article Summary:

When I left my corporate job I only knew one thing: I wanted to hike a long trail. I didn’t leave my job impulsively. I plotted and planned. I didn’t hate the work, I’d simply been there long enough and it was time to move up, move over, or move on. I chose to move on, and when I saw a possible, sensible way out I took it.

Five months prior I’d walked my first long trail, the John Muir Trail, located in California’s Sierra Nevada. It was a 211-mile trek, hiked during my vacation. A lot of planning went into that hike. Although I’d lived in the Sierras at one point in my life, and had spent huge chunks of time playing among those wondrous jagged peaks, I had never spent more than four nights in the backcountry, and that was a long time ago. I’d spent the past twenty years hunkered down in the city, doing other things. So I did my research, bought all the newest, lightest and best gear available, and wow, I’d like to mention, that was a lot of fun. When it came to gear, everything had changed. Everything.

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