Tuesday, June 30, 2015

John Muir Trail Planning: Last Minute Prep, Freaking Out, and Loose Ends

The last week has involved an awful lot of trail-related anxiety. In large part this has to do with the calf, Achilles, and lower back pain I'm experiencing. What if my body is not up to this trail? What if I have to quit after a few days? What if it was all a waste of money? And how embarrassed will I be after telling everyone I'll be gone for a month and showing up again after a few days?

Then there's the weather. It's in the 90s in Yosemite. And the mosquitoes. All reports say hot weather and bad mosquitoes.

But then I see pictures of the Sierras and I am transported back there, and I re-experience my love for the area I am about to hike. Or, at least, attempt to hike.

I shipped off my re-supply boxes (and bucket) yesterday. Total cost: $50. All USPS Priority Mail. I'm told I got off easy on the price because I was mailing them within California.

Today I picked up my prescription for the next month and, while I was at it, dental floss. Then I got a 4 oz. bottle to put my herbal hippie (yet hopefully effective) mosquito repellent into, because it's currently in a huge 8 oz bottle. I think I still need to buy more dried fruit, and I might need more trail mix.

I deposited a few checks. I mailed off rent checks for both July and August a few days ago. I need to pay my car insurance but I'm not sure I have enough cash for that plus both rents. Today I went to court to pay a ticket, because the internet said I had to pay it there. Bit of drama there. The cop didn't include enough information when he put the ticket in, so it was deleted from the system a week ago, and I can't pay it until he fixes it. Only it's due four days after I leave. This is a problem.

Still to do: Get a windscreen for my stove (a turkey pan from the Dollar Store that I will cut up). Maybe get some batteries. And pants. My favorite pants are so worn out at this point (I've utterly worn them to death) that I just can't bring them on the trail. I had planned to bring them, but I wore them tonight and realized they were in very bad shape. They are torn, and just completely worn out, and it would be dumb to bring them as my only pair of pants on a 25 day hike. Thankfully, REI has an identical pair in stock, so I'll get those tomorrow.

I will leave the place where I'm staying on Friday, even though I will not go to Yosemite until Saturday. I think I'll make some hard boiled eggs and peanut butter sandwiches to bring with me, and I can get any last food I need on Friday. Just the dried fruit, I think. Friday I'm heading up to a friend's house that is every so slightly closer to Yosemite - but much closer to a train station. I'll leave my car at her place while I hike.

On Saturday, the train leaves at 7:56am. To get to Yosemite on public trans, I'll take the train to LAX, the bus to Bakersfield, and a train to Merced. In Merced, I pick up the YARTS bus to Yosemite's lodge, arriving after 8pm at night. It's going to suck. I'm bringing a cheap, used copy of The Last Season, which is apparently a book about Yosemite or something... it was recommended by other hikers. I figure I'll read it on the trains/buses and then hand it off to another hiker who wants a good read. And hopefully someone looking to off-load some weight from their pack will give me a book they've finished.

And... that's it. With luck, you won't hear from me again for a while because I'll be successfully hiking the JMT!

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