John Muir Trail Thru Hike 2016

John Muir Trail 2016 ~ 7/24/2016

7/24/16
Miles Hiked Thus Far: 31;
JMT Mile Marker: 23.5;
Day’s End: Elevation 9,387; TM Backpackers Camp;

 

First off, my Fit Bit said I went 13.25 miles today but we will only log the 11 the trail marker said. I will total up all my Fit Bit miles though to see how far I really went at the end of this crazy and awesome journey!

 

I finally have stepped foot on the JMT this morning! There is proof! TM is only 10 miles from here! Awesome!
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Ok, confession time again….so coming up on Saturday from the Sunrise Trailhead was death. My pack sucked and felt like a ton of bricks, my lungs sucked literally and my legs felt like they were going to fall off. But today I woke up and although my left heel hurt a little bit, I got to Cathedral Lakes by 10am and it was soo beautiful. I kinda felt like I was walking on air…my heart was happy and my spirit free after a good, deep nights sleep. But being there that early, I just felt like it was too early to stop for the night so I had a decision to make…should I camp there as my itinerary said or keep moving on??
Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and nature                                           Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

 

While at Cathedral Lakes, (sitting right where this picture was taken), I accidentally took a drink from unfiltered water today. Stupid! I am using the Sawyer Mini on this hike and have been unscrewing it from my Smart Bottle after each drinking session.  I was soo in awe of the mountains surrounding me, I grabbed the wrong one…my dirty bottle. Needless to say, in that moment, I realized why the backpackers I had already seen left the Sawyer screwed onto their bottles while hiking. Duh! I am praying that this doesn’t come back to haunt me in about 2 weeks!

 

The hike was fast to the lakes today, so I did decide to continue on to Tuolumne Backpacker Site for tonight…this is the same campground I was just at acclimating so will be fun to return after getting a few miles under my boots.  By continuing on, this will shorten my hike tomorrow as I am nervous about going near Donahue Pass. This is my first true pass on the JMT and being a Texas girl, I am a little anxious about how I will do even though it is not near as tough as ones that will come up soon. I am hoping to only do 8 miles tomorrow but boy we go from 8600 ft elevation to 11,000ft. It is going to be a good test of my training for sure. The hike has already been harder than I expected I think because my pack is way heavier that I would like at this elevation but thankfully I am alone so I am the only pace setter. I just need to take it one day at a time right? One step at a time.

 

As the morning came to a close, everything was fine as I came down 1,000 feet towards TM and that was a little rough on my foot and then it was back up again so after 7 extra miles I didn’t plan on today, I am pooped but it was sooo worth it. I would have HATED to come down that in the am…then do 8 more miles to camp so praying this was the right decision. I figured I better keep walking while I am fresh and feel good enough to do so. I am the backpacker that likes to get up before the sun, get on trail and hike until about 4pm and then make camp. This way I get in about a 10 hour hike day in and get to camp early enough to relax and enjoy that destination of the day. Plus, me being the Be Prepared gal, I like to leave early also in case I run into bad weather or something that may delay me to camp and the hike takes longer than expected that day.

 

Now I am at the backpackers camp and set up across from a Boy Scout troop which was nice…felt familiar and figured setting up camp closer to entrance would be quieter and such than being all the way in the back. I know from my 2 nights in this camp earlier in the week that the partiers that are taking zero days stay in the back of the campground. Lol! As I just saw some hikers walk in an extremely large cooler with I am sure some celebratory beverages and a guitar! They are going to have some fun, but I need to get to bed and rest for an exciting day of exploring tomorrow!
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I must write that I did have a new pain I didn’t have while hiking at Philmont last month. My left hip was burning as I hiked today. I realized having the bear canister on the same side day after day isn’t a good idea, too much weight constantly on one side, so I need to rotate it daily in my pack to help offset the pressure. I have been trying to stretch tonight in my tent to prepare for tomorrow. Soooo nervous and excited all at the same time.

 

I got to call Brian, then Josh and then my parents. Sam is at mom and dads as he goes to Highlands Church summer camp tomorrow. Bless his heart, he sounded a little but down. Joshy sounds not like himself either but ok…maybe they miss me. 🙂 I will be home 4 weeks from today! That sounds like forever but I bet will fly! Lord please give me and the family the strength as that is a long long time!!!! I am homesick a little already. I am going to bed so my mind will maybe stop running.

 

Goodnight all,

 

XXOOXOXOXOXX
–Owl

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