James S. Hutchinson was an avid outdoors man, environmentalist and lawyer in the late 1800s. He contributed to the exploration of the Sierra Mountains. Him, Joseph N. LeConte and Duncan McDuffie pioneered the route from Yosemite National Park to Kings Canyon which roughly neighbored the modern John Muir Trail.
This outdoor saying encompasses the spirit of all backpackers and hikers. Here’s our ode to the quote expressed by Hutchinson.
There is nothing more fascinating than going “over the top” at a pass—the thrill, the excitement, the mystery of what is beyond!
You plod up and up, ever watching your step; over rough rocks, rolling and sliding; over loose, steep shale and sand.
You are out of breath; you are weary; the blazing sun beats down upon you; you may say “What’s the use?”
—when all at once you reach the top and get that grand expansive view and look over into a promised land, on to weird snow-fields, to silvery, flashing streams, down into azure lakes, up to ragged peaks, into the purest air and the bluest of blue skies.
It is the call of the high country; the call of the Main Crest; the call toward heaven!