John Muir Trail: Impressions along the trail

The perfect imprint of a bare foot along the trail puzzled me.

It was our 26th day of walking when I began tracking the barefoot prints leading down the switchbacks to Garnet Lake. I wondered if someone was walking in those barefoot shoes, the ones with individual slots for each of your toes. But the prints were so perfect, as if each step had been carefully placed to create the most precise impression.

Kenneth Posner stopped for a quick chat and photo.

Playing the part of a JMT detective, I tracked the footprints downhill. They all looked pretty fresh, so I figured sooner or later Reg and I were bound to catch up with the owner. Up ahead, carefully choosing each step along a rockier part of the trail was Ken, the barefoot hiker. We exchanged a few pleasantries. If my memory is correct, at that point he had walked 148 miles without shoes. An unusual approach to hiking the John Muir Trail, but as our friend Lori is fond of saying, ”You’ve got to hike your own hike.” We played leapfrog along the trail throughout the morning before losing sight of him.
When we told the story around our dinner circle that night, Emma, the packer who led our mule train, laughed and explained that when she came up behind him on the trail and saw his shorts and black leggings, she assumed it was Reg and (ready to give a lecture on safety) shouted down at him, ”Where are your shoes?”

That was the only day we saw Ken and we wondered what had become of him. While scrolling through Facebook the other day, I stumbled upon a post which led me to Ken’s blog post and my questions were answered. I’ve included a link for you below.

https://thelongbrownpath.com/2021/09/10/170-miles-barefoot-on-the-john-muir-trail/

I’d encourage you to read through his story. It’s inspiring and may just encourage you to ”hike your own hike” someday too!

Categories: John Muir Trail | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “John Muir Trail: Impressions along the trail

  1. Sue & Reg, it was nice to meet you and discover your beautiful blog. I definitely agree with your concept of Type 2 Fun! If you’re in NY some time, come check out the Long Path — it might be one to add to your collection. Happy Trails!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lori OliverTierney

    I have come into contact with Kenneth through a JMT site. What an inspirational guy who for sure hiked his own hike. I just bought a book he wrote and looking forward to reading his adventure on the Long Trail. I am loving your posts. Like I said in my book I thought I hiked the JMT for the scenery but the people shined like new pennies. I am so glad you experienced it. Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful pictures and stories. It brings back wonderful memories. Happy trails

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am loving following along on your posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

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