Newlyweds hike the John Muir Trail, over 218 miles. This fast paced adventure begins with menacing bears, lightning bolts, a mountain rescue, the constant threat of mountain lions, food shortages, fascinating characters and altitude sickness. The Alt's emerge from the trail still happily married and with a deeper understanding of each other.
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Four Boots One Journey was originally published as an award-winning paperback: A Hike for Mike. Jeff Alt takes you along on an entertaining adventure on the John Muir Trail with his new wife, Beth. With dust still on his boots from his 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail journey, Jeff convinces Beth, a woman who prefers hotels, hot showers and warm beds, to chuck her domesticated ways and walk the entire John Muir Trail (JMT). The JMT is over 218-miles of rugged remote mountain terrain, traversing three national parks, including the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Jeff is excited that he has finally persuaded his wife to go completely out of her comfort zone and attempt a journey that even seasoned hikers find extremely difficult. When Beth's brother tragically dies by suicide, Jeff feels compelled to take his wife on a hike. He assures her this journey would do her some good. To convince Beth to go on the hike, Jeff shows her some stunning photos of the John Muir Trail (JMT). He highlights pictures of lakes, which Beth loves, and carefully leaves out the word glacial when describing the water temperature. They hike as a depression awareness campaign in memory of BethÆs brother.Their breathtaking scenic hike is riddled with adventure, humor and inspiration. From the moment they set foot on the trail, the fast paced adventure begins with menacing bears, lightning bolts, a mountain rescue, the constant threat of mountain lions, food shortages, fascinating characters and altitude sickness.The further they travel down the trail, the more Beth and Jeff discover things they never knew about each other. Initially, Jeff is nervous as to how Beth will adapt to carrying everything on her back, sleeping on the ground, and bathing in ice-cold mountain streams. When Beth debones a freshly cooked trout with her teeth, too hungry to wait for her husband to finish preparing the meal; and later in the evening, unable to take the trail grime encapsulating her body, she jumps into a lake, cold enough to chill beer; Jeff realizes that Beth has become a nomadic survivor. Above 10,000 feet, they discover that Beth can handle the thin air better than Jeff. Not only does Beth complete the expedition, she discovers the joys of backpacking with her husband. They emerge from the trail rejuvenated and still happily married.