Altogether, the JMT is about 211 miles long, but Robinson added on treks to spend 26 days hiking 286 miles last August. His hike included about 60,000 feet of elevation change.
Originally, Robinson had anticipated being one of a group of four. One by one, his companions opted out for various reasons, so Robinson decided to hike it on his own.
However, Robinson said he was only alone about one-third of the time he was on the trail. He met and hiked with various people along the way, gathering their stories into a journal he kept of his adventure.
He is combining those notes and those stories into a book that he plans to call “Unexpected Treasures.”
Robinson camped the first two nights at a rowdy site frequented by climbers, he said. While there, he also hiked the Yosemite trail.
“When you get your permit, you have to tell them where you’re going to camp the first night. After that, you can camp anywhere you want,” he said.
Robinson took out with a 35-pound backpack, but the John Muir Trail has plenty of water along the way, and he had arranged for food cache pickups along the trail.
Portions of the 286-mile trek were broad and easy walking, despite some elevation or grade changes. Other portions were rugged, challenging terrain.
After Yosemite, he headed to Half Dome, with jutting rocks and challenging climbs along cabled trails.
“Peanut M&Ms were my reward for getting to the top,” he said.
He wore leather gloves to protect his hands as he gripped metal cables to make his way up and down the Half Dome climb. There were other challenging climbs to come.
“I’m up on top of Clouds Rest, and the book says you go right across that and down the other side, and I’m looking and thinking I don’t see a trail,” he said.