JMT MM13.5: 7/23/16; High Sierra Camp at Sunrise
Oh my gosh, where to begin…got up at 6:20 this am and packed up. I was soo anxious that I couldn’t even eat the oatmeal I had bought for the morning. I was about to walk down to meet my trail angels but they came up to the campsite to meet me. My gear seem to fill my whole pack and I didn’t even have the bear canister yet! 😦 I knew I had fit it all before and today was only 5 miles right? Things just felt heavier today for some reason…
My trail angels were soo sweet and got a picture of me at the trailhead and we hugged and they left me to reorganize my pack with my food canister. I smiled for the picture even though I felt like I was going to literally throw up! People at home were praying for this hike, veterans and warriors that I was hiking for were sending me messages of encouragement and my family was having to run without me for about a month and I felt heavy with the pressure this am more than I have so far. Can I finish this? Am I in over my head? Was my physical training enough?
Holy crapola it was heavy! I would guess 100 pounds or so!! LOL! But I did have 7 days worth of food and has almost 3 liters of water which is about 20 pounds of gear. I would soon realize that I never needed to carry 3 L of water at any given time as this was the Sierras and not the Big Bend of Texas!
It was go time! Time to start this trail! All fears and anxieties were in front of me…time to push through them Owl! Let’s go!
The initial trail was ok…scenic but quickly began to go up and boy did it go up…about 1000 feet in about 2 miles. I almost died…I am not kidding. I stopped every 5 minutes to breathe and step aside for the 100 people coming up the trail. I seriously began to doubt if I was going to be able to do this. Then when I reached the top of the sunrise trail and to the right all the folks went in the direction of Cloud’s Rest. However, I went towards the High Sierra Camp and then JMT and was finally all alone. Finally! It was a pleasant walk for a while but my feet were hurting and my legs felt like jelly. My Injinjis were tight as my right foot began to swell as my neuroma and plantar fasciitis would be the biggest challenge of this hike as I would come to learn.
I felt like crap and there isn’t any other way to say it. Then I finally came to the first sunrise lake and it was stunning. Then at the second lake, I stopped and got water. Again, stunning….then the frickin trail went up again….I was walking soo slow…it took me over 4 hours to go 5 miles!!!! I am seriously worried about my ability unless my pack lightens up and my trail legs decide to show up soon.
Then, I came down a good jaunt and came into the camp but I didn’t realize it was where I was going to camp until I went all the way down into the beautiful sunrise meadow and stepped foot on the JMT finally!!! There was a sign that said go back the way I came for the backpackers camp. Ugh!! But since it was only 1:30, I truly lucked out and got a great campsite overlooking the meadow. I was exhausted. There is a bathroom and and water spigot, things backpackers truly value!!! Plus there are bear boxes. So, I literally drank water, like 3 liters, and ate food for like 2 hours. I read, reviewed the maps for tomorrow and even sketched. 🙂
Now it is 7:30pm and I have eaten all my belly would hold as the more I eat the lighter my pack gets, I rehydrated until I couldn’t drink any more, brushed my teeth and wiped down as much I could. Now I am in my sleeping clothes and ready for bed. I am soo tired. I won’t be able to complete this journey without Gods strength and guidance so I pray He won’t leave my side.
Tomorrow is ‘just’ another 5 mile day and supposedly relatively flat. Ha! Never will I take for granted ‘just a 5 mile hike’ in the Sierra’s again! Then I am to hike about 12 miles to just below Donahue Peak summit then another 11 mile day hopefully over Donahue to around Marie Lakes. No more 5 mile days until walk down to Onion valley from Kearsage Lakes for resupply.
On a wonderful side note, I did get to call Brian and the boys last night and my parents. I absolutely loved hearing their voices as I miss them soo very much. I’ve already been gone for 5 days even though this is only day 1 on JMT. Pray for Sammy and his sweet heart; Pray for Josh and his sensitive heart; pray for Brian and his loving heart and that they all truly know how much I love them. Pray for all those that are caring and loving on my family including my parents! Hugs!
Embrace the journey friends! Goodnight!!!