I got a call today from Bob Ennis of Mt Whitney Shuttle; my ride at 4:45AM Sunday the 6th is confirmed so long as he gets some money in the next week to hold the reservation.
Bob outlined another option. He will be at Whitney Portal Saturday afternoon to pick up someone for a shuttle to Onion Valley. If I finish early enough I can jump on with them and ride to Mammoth Lakes that night. Maybe; any money saved by sharing the ride will be spent getting a room in Mammoth though I would get to sleep in.
The deal with Bob puts all the logistics in place.
I finished shopping this morning, except for the tortillas, and then spent the rest of the day repackaging and preparing the resupply buckets. Need to double check the MTR bucket, then seal it up though being 11pm it’ll wait until tomorrow.
Yosemite in 3 weeks.
The resupply buckets are packed, sealed, and labeled; I’ll get the MTR bucket mailed tomorrow morning.
Tested the new stove, a Caldera Cone, with two different burners; the one that came with the kit and the Thermojet. Damn it was hot out on the patio. The Caldera Cone burner burned 3 minutes longer on 1oz of alcohol and boiled one liter of water in about 9½ minutes. The Thermojet never got the water to a boil. Though not a scientific test, it suggests keeping kit components together.
I think I have just about everything ready for the trip, except of course the backpack and the Hostel Box.
Miscellaneous things to do before I leave: clean the A/C filters, get the car serviced, pay Michael’s and Christine’s fall tuitions. I’ll add to this as things come to mind or Nancy asks.
Shipped the MTR bucket today; a cool 20 bucks to the US Postal Service. It is supposed to arrive in 3-4 days plus whatever it takes the folk at MTR to pick it up and haul it to their depot. I also mailed a check to Bob Ennis.
The broken toe aches today and reminds that despite the plans, despite being mentally ready; I am not quite physically ready for this hike or maybe any hike. I for sure know the right foot is not ready for a 20 mile day let alone several consecutive 20 mile hiking days. I’ll continue taking it easy at the gym and pray for the best; I intend to start hiking 3 weeks from today no matter what the foot says.
On the other hand, my sense of smell is returning for day long periods and not just during or for just shortly after physical activity. One bad allergy season two years ago spring and failed containment efforts afterward meant two years of inflamed sinuses and no smell. The last six months though of twice daily maintenance doses of Benadryl, not steroids and not the latest and greatest allergy meds, no, just the old school remedy, has contained my allergies and now, finally I can smell most of the time. My sinuses were, and maybe still are, really screwed up. But if it holds, bliss; the Sierra smells heavenly.
Received an email from Muir Trail Ranch; the resupply has arrived.
I have other new gear for this trip. A Mountain Laurel Designs silnylon poncho/tarp, a Six Moon Designs bug bivy, and a large Neo Air. Set up some different tarp pitches in the backyard to see how it all plays together and decided on an A-frame configuration with the corners at the foot end staked to the ground and those at the head end suspended. If windy I can make a lean-to by dropping one of the head corners to the ground without having to uproot the set up, and if stormy I can close the foot off entirely. The configuration is flexible enough that should the weather change during the night I can make the adjustments quickly and get back to bed. The bug net of the bivy clips to a loop on the underside of the poncho keeping it off my face and the large Neo just fits; sweet!
I loaded the pack today; 15 lbs, my lightest base weight ever. Add food, water, stove fuel, a fanny pack for the trip up Half Dome and my start weight will be around 25 lbs.
I leave tomorrow! If I can leave work by noon I’ll be on the road by 2:00.