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!
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??
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!
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.