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Suzanne Roberts is the author of Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail, as well as four poetry collections. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Rumpus, The Normal School, River Teeth, and National Geographic’s Traveler. She teaches creative writing for the low-residency MFA program at SNC-Tahoe and serves as the current El Dorado County Poet Laureate.

Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Suzanne Roberts| Almost Somewhere | University of Nebraska Press | September 2012 | 36 minutes (7,365 words)


Day 1

Summer’s 3 Percent

Whitney Portal (8,360) to Outpost Camp (10,080) 3.8 miles


Going on twenty-three, I fancied myself a naturalist, thought I knew about the wilderness, about wildness, because I had been an avid reader of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau. I enjoyed reading about Muir’s exciting climb into a giant Douglas spruce during a torrential windstorm. I liked to imagine a young bearded Muir climbing into the treetops, wind whipped like a kite.

Once on the trail, however, I had my doubts.

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