The countdown begins for August 17, 2009.
After calling the Yosemite Association and talking to a less than courteous person on the phone, I made my reservation for the Wilderness Permit required for the John Muir Trail.
I called at the earliest time possible to make the reservation (24 weeks/168 days in advance) at exactly 2 minutes after they opened their office at 8:32am. My original plan was to complete the trail in 21 days but that would mean that I would be summiting Mt. Whitney during labor day weekend. In order to avoid the crowd I’m now leaning more towards doing it in 23 days, ending on September 8.
I now have a little less than 6 months to finish purchasing the equipment I need and take them for a few test runs. The main items I need to purchase are: waterproof jacket, stove, hiking poles, and sleeping pad. I’ll have to decide whether to take my heavy hiking boots or get some trail runners, and whether to bring a water filter or use purifying tables. Many questions that will be answered in the exciting months ahead.