230/365: Over the Heartland.

Editor's Note: The following is pulled from the journal that I kept while hiking the John Muir Trail this past month. I'll post each entry, each day, for the next few weeks.

July 18th, 2010:

Flew hung over to San Fran yesterday. Night before got out of hand thanks to Sol and tequila shots. Threw up out of the car on the way to Tate and Roxanne's, after swallowing it twice in an attempt to keep it in. Horrible. Slept well on flights after throwing up on the side of Terminal A at RDU at 5:45 am. San Fran was gorgeous, weather perfect. Took BART to Rockridge to Blair's apartment. Good to see him, laid low and saw Argentinian film, "The Secret in their Eyes" at classy old theater in Berkley. Today took Amtrak to Merced, wonderful train ride. Then YART bus to Yosemite Valley, also a nicer ride than expected.

Picked up permits and various sundries and last burger for a while in the village area, then walked over to Backpacker's camp with a dip in the Merced River along the way, then another long dip after setting up camp. Was HOT in the sun, but the water was very cold, numbing and perfect. Great for the damaged foot.  [I may or may not have broken a toe at a pool party shortly before I left.] Not sure how it's going to feel; pack is very heavy, lots of that is food, but camera gear is substantial as well. Flat ground didn't feel great today...Will go slow and steady, try to keep positive, soak in glacial water at night, and hope for the best. Lots of Vitamin I too. Maybe will send back John Muir's Mountains of California and trail guide to lose some weight...

Our permit says we are supposed to set out from Glacier Point tomorrow, but logistics are stupid: $25 per person for a 2.5 hour shuttle, to hike 4 miles to join the JMT at a point only 2.8 miles from where we are currently camped...[the JMT officially starts at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, but some permits are issued that start the hikers at Glacier Point to limit overall traffic at the trailhead. Makes sense, except when you consider that there are over 500 day hikers headed up the Happy Isle trail already each day, who don't even need a permit to enter the wilderness at this trailhead.] Seems dumb, and a hassle, so we plan an early rise to get up the trail before first light. Hope we don't get caught by a ranger...