Permits for backcountry hiking in Inyo National Forest become available
on a day by day basis around 6 months before the start of your
hike. I planned to hike the PCT / JMT loop over Labor
Day weekend, but messed up my math so I by the time I checked Saturday
permits were already available and already gone. I kept checking
and a few days later claimed the last of 12 available permits to hike
in on the PCT trail on Friday September 1.
There's sometimes complete gridlock trying to leave San Francisco, I
thought about parking at bart like I do everyday when I commute, but
that would require an hour of backtracking. I ended up
parking at work in downtown San Francisco and left
directly from the office, fortunately without traffic delays. In
Tuolumne Meadows a
Park Service Ranger pulled me over while doing 23mph in a 25mph zone at
around 1130pm. He was nice enough (and might even have been the Ranger who led the program Jed and I saw last year), and he let me off with a
verbal warning to get the lights on my rear license plate fixed - both lamps had failed.
I finally arrived at my hotel in Mammoth Lakes around 1230am Friday morning.