Shoeless Ken Tries the JMT Again

We saw it, but couldn’t believe it. Was it from a shoe made to leave a print in the sand to resemble a human foot? Sue and I were near Garnet Lake, trekking northbound on California’s John Muir Trail in August 2021, when she spotted the print. Around the next bend, we found our answer: Kenneth Posner, an American who was in his second attempt to walk the entire 211-mile trail from Mount Whitney to Yosemite Valley barefoot. He was happy to pose for Sue’s photo. His email when we got home broke the news: He had failed again, having to put on shoes on a difficult rocky section.

The JMT surfaces are tough enough with the best of shoes, but Kenneth returned in 2022 for his third try. And once again, a hard-to-get thru permit eluded him, so he had to walk the trail in sections. Read what happened here.

Acadia: A Climb to the Top

On our first nice day in Maine’s Acadia National Park, Sue and I laced up our trail runners and headed up the South Ridge Trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the north Atlantic coast.

All Trails rates the climb to 1,527 feet ”hard,” but it was a moderate uphill except for a few challenging rock scrambles. The trail burst out of the forest several times, mostly during the final mile of the way up. The path was root-bound in the forest and included flat-topped logs, sections of mud and puddles from recent rain.

At the top, the view entertained us and hundreds of other visitors during lunchtime. (Most had driven up using the park’s reservation system.) We also opted for a ice creams from the gift shop at the summit. There were even restrooms.

Acadia offers more challenging treks, including a Precipice Loop with ladders and narrow ledges that has been called ”technical.” There is also an alternate Cadillac Mountain trail that travels up a gorge and another that approaches from the north. If one mountain isn’t enough for you, Acadia offers more summit treks. Finally, if you don’t mind crowds, there is a gorgeous coastal walk that you can catch from the Park Loop Road.