John Muir Trail: Rest and Reflect

Day Two: Rest and Reflect

After several of us being unexpectedly wiped out from the previous day’s events, in addition to the unique beauty and arrangement of the Sunrise backpackers camp and its views of Long Meadow and the mountains, we all voted to spend an extra day here enjoying the time together without the pressure to make it to our next camp right away. There was even an impromptu boulder-top yoga class.

Sunrise Yoga

It was also our wedding anniversary, though we were both convinced that was still a day way. Days slipping off the calendar, a good sign.

Mick Cathedral Lakes

Can I tell you about this person I married?

She has a great laugh. When it’s a belly laugh it’s my favorite laugh in the world. I’m always grateful for things that make her laugh like that. However many she’s had, she deserves more.

She’s a solid friend. She may not always remember to text you back, and she’s not going to write you thank you notes, but solid comes in various forms, and she’s as solid as it comes.

She’s independent. Her parents taught her that. She doesn’t put labels on herself and she’s probably not going to protest or march, but she’s always owned her own destiny, supported herself from a young age, matched silliness with great depths of professionalism, is never intimidated by the boys club, will school you in baseball knowledge, doesn’t pretend to like a sport to get a guy’s attention, is forgiving, loves a good manicure, likes to sleep in the woods, has jumped from a plane, isn’t concerned if what she says is pc, has more acceptance of others than most can muster, loves ribs, is in the moment when she’s talking to you, doesn’t manipulate thinking three steps ahead, sees the good where I see bad, always has time to read to her sons, loves puppies, walks the equality walk, puts people at ease, loves movies, even the bad ones, has fought for me, loves riding horses fast, loves dirt in her smile because mine was faster, is impulsive if it sounds fun, has big big eyes and a big big smile, is alive alive alive.

She can’t tell a joke to save her life though.

Yesterday as we approached the end of our hike with Seb Mick had a bad migraine. She gets them often, sometimes several times a day. They are like a sudden kick in the head, causing her to go down to her knees at times. An intense couple of minutes that feature all encompassing pain. Then they’re gone. She’s had them as long as I’ve known her. This one almost knocked her over. I took her pack off and waited beside her. When it dissipated I said I was taking the heaviest items out of her pack and putting them in Seb’s, which I was carrying for him. She asked me not to. I said I thought it best while she recovered. She asked me not to. I said I was going to for her own good. She asked me not to. I said I would, and she screamed at me to let her carry her own weight. No one was going to carry her weight for her.

And she did. Fuck those migraines. No victims.

I love you babe.



  1. Such beautiful words from a beautiful man for his beautiful wife. Your family oozes with inspiration! I am so fortunate to be able to call the Handies true friends.
    Big ass X’s & O’s!

  2. So beautiful AJ. What a wonderful person you’ve married. I love her too. And you. I miss your family. Xoxo

  3. That is very beautiful what you say about Mickie, that is very true, she is like that.
    am so happy you married Mickie, you forget to say she is so generous, the best JULERY”S
    i have is from her, I love her very much. Write a book, you are so good. I love the picture’s. what will be in the 3 day?
    Love you

  4. You missed one quality of your beautiful wife – a great memory! Unlike her mother who managed to forget your anniversary. SORRY!! I couldn’t be happier that the two of you found each other and support each other in the ways that you do.

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