TM is full up also, at least up till the 24 week deadline. All through trailheads seem to be full the day they open up. I am going to have to depend on a walkup in TM (there are 16 walk up slots available vs the 4 at HI). I think we am going to get up tere a couple days early, camp at TM, day hike from TM to HI, shuttle to TM and go to sleep. Then get up early and wait in line for walk up permits available either that day, or wait till 11:00 and get one for the following day.
I was also considering starting off in Inyo, but the thought of doing ALMOST the whole JMT makes me unhappy.
Edit for crazy run on sentence.