Glacier Mountaineering Sunglasses and a Guy Named America

Christopher Dart, sunglasses, JMT, John Muir Trail, backpacking, camping, mountain men, glasses

November 5, 2014 • Camps and Hikes, John Muir Trail, Latest • Views: 4920

I found these sunglasses in a pile of my parents’ camping stuff about a month before I left for the John Muir Trail in California. The sunglasses were my dad’s. Glacier mountaineering sunglasses he hadn’t used in decades. When I took them in to get the lenses replaced–my dad has incredibly poor vision; I, for the time being, am still blessed with 20/10–the woman working asked if I was going to Burning Man. No, I said, just a few weeks in the mountains. During the crowded moments of the early parts of the trail–in which¬†every person you meet is a vacationer visiting Yosemite Valley–I stood out wearing the glasses. They signified something. I tried not to think too hard what “it” was. It was enough to get me a few raised eyebrows and stray glances. Once I was deeper into the trail, the looks ended. The glasses were another part of my uniform: a solid tool to protect my eyes from glare and, at least to some, cool looking as well. A hinge fell off about halfway into the trip and a guy hiking the Pacific Crest Trail named America helped me fix them by using some floss and a few knots he learned in the Marine Corps. Those lasted another two weeks. After that it took my own makeshift knot and some nylon rope I took from my torn shoelace.

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