John Muir Trail Thru Hike 2016

John Muir Trail 2016 ~ 7/21/2016

JMT Journal – 7/21/16 (8 miles) – Tuolumne Campground to Dog Lake & Lembert Dome

Slept a little restless but it was ok…may be the higher altitude as we are only at 1,093 ft at home and I am sleeping here at 8,600ft. I was able to listen to some of my campground neighbors talk and there is a very interesting gal camped next to me. She is living and traveling in her Toyota Tacoma and with a very cool camper with a tent attachment. I found out that she is starting Carnegie Mellon University next month for environmental science and hiking in Yosemite was her last adventure before she starts the next season in her life.
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I got up slowly as it was in the low 40’s this am..perfect camping weather. I love having hot tea in the morning but didn’t bring enough to have it every morning though. Note to self for next hike…more tea.
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Once I rolled out of my comfy sleeping bag, I decided to hike to Dog Lake about 2 miles from camp. As I left the campground, I helped a wayward PCT girl get back on the trail…she thought I was a guy from behind! Ha! Not sure how to take that, but it is what it is. LOL!

Only took about 36 min and once at the trailhead, it went straight up. A great training hike with my full pack to test at this elevation. Sitting there on a branch by the lake, I could see snow on 2 peaks that are reflecting in the lake…Absolutely beautiful. This is the first lake I have hiked to in a very long time besides Philmont. I miss this…

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Ok, confession time. Once I got back to the campground, I felt a little blue. Every campsite has a couple or families here on vacation and now I remember this feeling, this feeling of longing and realizing that being alone I do enjoy but the biggest downfall is that I have no one to share Dog Lake with or the view from the top of Lembert Dome. Pics won’t capture the dialogue that would have taken place, the stories told along the way. I miss my family and I have yet to even start. I am thinking it will be better when I am on the trail and can focus on the daily hiking. Today was just hanging out and when I am idle, I think about many things and feelings that usually the world drowns out in our everyday life.  I hiked all morning and then hiked the mile or so to the visitors center to try and cheer myself up. I saw a bunch of books and documents about John Muir but couldn’t buy anything since didn’t want to carry the items with me for the next 260 miles.  The views along my walk there were so beautiful!
I did stop into the Tuolemne store and mailed a few postcards before heading back to camp and swam in the beautiful Tuolemne River. Families were everywhere and that made me miss mine deeply.

But I did have something that cheered me up when I picked up my mail! I got a card from some dear friends of mine from home! I almost didn’t check at the TM post office but just for grins I thought maybe just maybe there was something there for me. Sure enough..I had a card and it made my day and lifted my spirits immensely.
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While I was in the store, I picked up a few stickers for my truck to mail back home and got to see the PCT’ers resupply boxes just waiting for them to pick them up as they came through TM on the way northward. That was pretty cool to see. What stories they would have when they arrive here!
Well, heading to the hiker campfire again soon and then to bed.  I am not sure how much sleep I will get tonight as I am catching the shuttle again but this time going to get my JMT permit in the morning from Yosemite Wilderness Office. Big day as this is the permit that I got up at 2am every night for 3 weeks applying for a permit to start on the JMT so can’t wait to have it in my hand officially!

I plan to get to the bus stop around 7:40 tomorrow morning and it can’t come soon enough! Finally that will be the last big step before I get on the trail. After I get the permit, it will be a rest day to get my thoughts together and make sure I am mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically ready as I will have spent 3 days sleeping at 8,600ft and hiking at 10,000ft. That’s about the best I can do to get ready for this adventure as far as prepping right before.

Goodnight my friends! Until tomorrow friends…. — Owl

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