John Muir Trail Thru Hike 2016

John Muir Trail 2016 ~ 7/22/2016

JMT Journal – 7/22/16 (Rest Day – Tuolumne Meadows Campground)

I have been a very very lazy Owl today. I woke up at 5am and had to pull myself from my warm sleeping bag to go to the bathroom and then came back and went back to sleep until 7:45! I have nothing planned for today except get to the wilderness permit office to pick up my permit. That is my #1 priority!

I had no hot breakfast planned for this am, boo as it was cold!!! Brr! At least it was a little warmer since I got up late this am. I slowly got dressed and organized my stuff and then headed to the TM store to wait for the shuttle…I didn’t even eat breakfast I was soo very excited! I arrived at the permit office and saw the hikers that slept overnight waiting for a walk up permit, glad to not be one of those guys! The line was long even though I got there early as I had taken the advice of previous hikers to get to the office early.
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It was finally my turn and I answered all the questions of the ranger and she printed out my beautiful permit from Sunrise Lakes to Whitney Portal!  I was embarrassed but asked if she would hold the permit for a picture. Which she did sweetly!
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And like that, I walked out and had a permit to start tomorrow at Sunrise Lakes! Can you see the pure joy in that smile of mine? It is all REAL now! I was about to attempt to thru-hike the JMT solo!!! YIPPEE!
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After getting my permit, I took the shuttle back to the store and got a few things like more postcards to send and sat at the PcT table and boy, did I listen to some stories! Mixture of 50 year old men with 18 year old girls….what a crew! Talk of family, drugs, jobs, sex, alcohol and wandering with and without a purpose. For some that wander, I think some may be lost but others were far from lost.

I waited around listening until the grille opened and got a garden burger and an ice cream as this would be my last meal for a few weeks besides the meals in my resupply tubs. I then headed back to camp and redid all my gear again, getting rid of the third pair of underwear, a purifying tablet glass bottle, replaced a large sanitizer with a small one and overall tried to reduce more weight so I can justify bringing my REI chair. I don’t have much at all! 2 pairs of clothes, sleeping set, replaced my heavier warm hat with a lighter much more expensive one, etc.

Then with a full belly and more gear out of my pack, I decided to go to the river to relax and meet some tourists. What a beautiful sky! The sky here is sooooo blue. No rain since I have arrived and no rain in the forecast as of yet. Sooo blessed and lucky on that note. God is really setting a great path to get adjusted and start on this adventure. The water is sooo dang cold in the river.  Both campgrounds, Yosemite and TM, don’t have showers and so the river is the first rinse I have had in a few days. If you can stand the freezing water, then swimming is encouraged!
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I stayed there for a few hours people watching. One hiker came and shaved her legs with Dr. Bronners while a mortified husband and wife watched. Then she proceeded to use soap to clean her hidden areas and then lathered up to wash her hair. Now, the ranger told us at campfire that it is perfectly great to bath in the river, but just don’t use soaps as we must all follow Leave No Trace. Hmmm…guess she has been on the trail way too long and missed that memo.  I must admit I am excited to bathe in a clear clean lake while on the trail. 🙂 Maybe just where people see see. Hahaha!
Came back to camp after the small dip in the river and applied new duct tape to my trekking poles in case something happens and now I am just chilling on the picnic table bench taking this all in…still kinda unreal to me that I am actually here.

I hate there is no cell because I want to call the boys so badly before I get started tomorrow. I didn’t expect to not get to talk to them the whole time I was here before I started hiking. Ugh. I hope everyone is doing ok as husband is working full time while caring for the boys too…it is alot and they still have over 3 weeks to go. We have been so blessed with friends and family that are helping with meals, transportation and details while I am gone. Thank you!!

My sweet trail angels will be here tomorrow at 8am sharp to pick me up to get on the trail at Tenaya Lake/Sunrise Trailhead. They are holding my bear canister now so I didn’t have to manage it while I was training but now I desperately wish I would have held onto it so I could go through it all and tweak some things before arriving at the trailhead tomorrow. But oh well…it is what it is. Embrace the journey ya’ll!

Tomorrow I start the JMT officially! It is only a 5 mile day with about 600 feet in elevation gain to get up to the lakes so praying I don’t die with that food canister in my pack. LOL! I will take it slow and steady. No rush tomorrow as I want to take it ALL in!

Goodnight my friends,
–Owl

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