I had the pleasure of meeting several hikers on the trail this year who had purchased and read my book. All had something in common: they did NOT have my book with them. It’s an ebook, after all, and I didn’t spot a single iPad on the JMT. It’s also a “planning” guide, not trail guide.
They shouldn’t feel bad–I didn’t carry a copy of it either. Instead, I carried Eric the Black’s John Muir Trail Atlas. Although it wasn’t without flaws, overall I was quite pleased with my choice.
The book is a compact eight-inch-by-five-inch volume, and is about an eighth of an inch thick. Mine, complete with 212 miles of dirt and sweat, weighs in at two-and-three-quarters ounces. Inside you’ll find twenty-five pages, printed front and back. (If one were to number each page, except for the back of the covers, it would be fifty pages.) I was NOT careful with mine, and it remained legible and without a tear throughout the trip.
The first five pages includes a legend, a list of places from which one can resupply, an overview of the entire trail, and town maps for Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Independence, and Lone Pine. I can see where they might come in handy, although I didn’t use any of that introductory information, except for the legend.
On the sixth page the good stuff begins. The entire trail, from Happy Isles to the top of Mount Whitney (and down to Whitney Portal) is represented on forty-three pages. Continue reading