A World of Challenges Pre-JMT – Day 0 on the JMT

They always say that getting there is half the adventure, and I would have to agree, for it’s only Day-0 and I have a world of challenges pre-JMT.  Hey, that rhymes!  I should start a backpacking band or something.  LOL!  What to call this band?  Can you even call it a band if I’m solo?  Maybe the birds can be my backup singers.  Snow Hike and the Feathered Funksters.  Yes!  It’s perfect!  Ok, I’m getting off-topic, but I really need to work on this new band idea for sure!

Snow Hike and the Feathered Funksters – courtesy of Bing Images

I haven’t even set foot on the trail, but I already feel like I need a long soak in a hot tub and a couple of Advil.  My mind is tired and needs a vacation.  Oh, wait!  My mind is going on vacation.  Tomorrow is the day.  Tomorrow, I set foot on the John Muir Trail with the hope of completing the first 21 miles.  I know there will be many challenges, but I laugh in the face of a challenge.  Hahaha!  I have this picture in my head of Simba from The Lion King trying to look all tough (but he’s really just a cute little kitten) and heading out into the great unknown.  “Danger?  Hah!  I laugh in the face of Danger!”  Yep, that’s me.  I think it drives my friends and family crazy, but hey, I have little people syndrome.

Upcoming JMT Challenges

  • Snow (cue Snowmageddon)
  • Endless hours of climbing and thinking “I’ll be at the top right over that hill”
  • My fear of heights (sure, why don’t we just climb Half Dome)
  • This little pain in my knee.  Ok, the pain in my knee has me worried, but I’m hoping my knee brace helps to keep it under control.

Work Challenges pre-JMT

Anyways, back to today.  I was talking about how getting there is half the adventure, and boy is that true. So it all started with a day in the life of an interior designer. Yes, I had to work today, and I ran into a few problems that needed tending to before I could let my mind rest. When I have a problem, my mind never rests. It will eat at me morning, noon, and night. That’s definitely not what I wanted on this trip. I want to relax, recharge, and enjoy the simplicity of backpacking in nature.

Luckily, I solved my problem at the 11th hour, right before quitting time and heading out on the road. Not only did I solve the problem, but I received such an honored compliment from my clients of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation that a stressful day turned into an epic design victory celebration!  With the design of their home completed, the room transformed into a dazzling party venue. We raised our glasses filled with bubbly, clinked them together, and cheered for the successful collaboration. Laughter filled the air as we shared stories of our design journey, dancing and celebrating the remarkable transformation we achieved together. It was a day of accomplishment and joyful camaraderie, making it the best day ever for this interior designer extraordinaire!  …  Ok, that didn’t happen, but it was something close to that.

My New Trailheadz Ethereal Custom Print 0-Degree Top Quilt

Postal Challenges pre-JMT

Work wasn’t the half of it, though.  I’ve been working on collecting my gear for this backpacking trip for about six months now.  If you read my last post, Tales from a Backpacking and Hammock Gear Addict, you will know that I research everything, all the way down to the perfect spork to eat my food with.  Yes, I’m just that crazy.  Well, about four months ago I ordered a new quilt.  “Four months???” you ask.  Yes, that’s what I said.  I ordered this quilt four months ago.  I did lots of research to find the lightest, warmest, dare I say most stylish quilt ever.  Ok, I wasn’t really looking for the most stylish quilt, but that’s what I found.

The Trailheadz Ethereal Quilt has a lot of options but mine is made from 1000FP down (the best I’ve ever seen), .49 Argon nylon inner fabric, 0-degree rating, and has a custom print fabric on the exterior.  I couldn’t help myself!  The print has little purple, blue, and green succulents all over it. I just LOVE succulents! They are gorgeous. I can’t seem to keep them alive in real life, but hey… at least I can rock the “Plant Cemetery” look in my home without any casualties! Who needs thriving succulents when you can have their stylishly illustrated counterparts? My green thumb may be more like a black thumb, but my sense of humor is definitely in full bloom! 

Well, I had been waiting forever for this amazing quilt, and you know when it came in the mail?  It came two hours before I headed out on my trip!  I shit you not… I almost had a heart attack.  Luckily it made it here in time because I was afraid I was going to freeze without it.  I do have another quilt, but the rating is only down to 30 degrees.  So I breathed a sigh of relief.  All is good again.  I will not turn into a snowman in my sleep.  Crisis over!

Chapstick Challenges pre-JMT

Next, I started out on the road. I dropped the kids off with their dad and set out to get my chapstick. Chapstick you say? Yes, chapstick! Don’t judge me. I wanted a certain chapstick and I made a special stop for it. You might have a special brand of toilet paper that you like (my ass cares not), but my lips wanted to be pampered on this trip. I can’t deny them that. What girl doesn’t want well protected beautiful lips? That’s the promise I got from Colorescience Sunforgettable Color Balm. I pulled up to my dermatologist’s office, climbed the stairs, pulled on the door… and that was it. Closed! Crap. Regular chapstick it is. I guess I’ll have to hit up a store in Yosemite when I get there to grab some. Next time I won’t wait till the last minute. Note taken.

Hotel Challenges pre-JMT

Back on the road I went. Two hours till I hit Yosemite. Luckily, I have a good book to listen to, Trilogy. I also called my fiancé to talk for a while and I called my dad. What I didn’t do was call around to find a place to stay once I got to Yosemite. Yeah, that would be too easy. I prefer a challenge. Why not wait till I get there and see if I can find a place to stay? Now that’s a true adventure! Live on the edge, I always say. Well, that almost bit me in the butt. I got to Yosemite and decided to see if the Yosemite Valley Lodge had any openings. The receptionist almost laughed in my face. Ok, that’s a little harsh. Well, I guess I’ll make the 20 min loop around Yosemite again and see if Camp Curry has any openings.

Side Note:  As I was taking this 20-minute detour around Yosemite for the second time, I saw a unicorn! Ok, it wasn’t a unicorn, but it was a unicorn to me. I am always looking for a bear, and one walked right in front of my car. Luckily, I didn’t hit it, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it. Oh well. Maybe I’ll see another on the trail… although I’m sure all my friends and family hope that I don’t. They just don’t understand my obsession with bears. I guess I don’t either.

I rolled up to Camp Curry at 9:00 p.m., parked illegally since there were no parking spaces around, stumbled my way around in the dark trying to find the reception office, waited for what seemed like an hour for someone to help me (ok, it was five minutes), and I asked the dreaded question…  “Do you have a room?”

I fully expected them to say no. I expected them along with anyone else to snicker at my request. I mean, who just drives up here, in the summer of all times, with no reservation? Me, that’s who. Well, to my surprise the heavens were shining down on me. Not only did they have a room, but they said they had an awesome room available. They had a cabin with a bathroom! What?!?!  How could I be so lucky?! I think I should buy a lottery ticket. Too bad I don’t gamble.

Yosemite Camp Curry Cabin for the Win!

Life Lessons pre-JMT

So here I am, sitting in my heated cabin, eating some dark chocolate, and writing about my life for you all.  Lessons about my challenges pre-JMT that I’ve learned today…

  • Don’t wait till the day you leave to pack to pack your backpack.
  • A little kindness goes a long way to put a smile on someone else’s face.
  • If you really want an amazing stick of chapstick… buy it well before your trip.  This goes for other things as well, but I really wanted that chapstick.
  • Make reservations if you want to ensure a good night’s sleep.  I may be lucky, but one day this luck is going to wear out.
  • Always drive slowly.  You never know when a unicorn or a bear might walk right in front of you.
  • Be spontaneous.  Although I could have assured no problems if I had planned better, it still worked out and I love the surprise of not knowing what will happen next.  I guess I’ll find out tomorrow what lies in store for me.

Ok, it’s 11:00 p.m. and time to head to sleep. This brave little kitten (Simba), AKA Snow Hike (the musical trekologist), needs her beauty rest. I’ll see you all on the trail tomorrow. For now, I’m going to lay my head on this comfy pillow, in an amazing bed, with cozy heating, in a safe secure little cabin… one last time. Good night!

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