Day 66: (19 miles)
(FYI – just got WiFi so many posts coming. Fewer pictures as our phone battery was running low. This post has none…sorry)
We set out sights on VVR as we truly don’t have enough food to make it to Mammoth. We are not looking forward to the extra “bonus” miles (aka. Non PCT miles) but we hear VVR shouldn’t be missed. Up early as usual, with a goal of 22 miles so we would have a chance to make it to the ferry by 8:30am. VVR (Vermillions Valley Resort) is at the west end of Edison Lake. On good snow/water years the resort will pick you up in their pontoon boat at the east end of the lake where the PCT/JMT runs nearby. This saves one a 8.7 mile walk to the resort. Even though the lake is down, they are running an aluminum boat. You just have to walk a little farther into the lake bed (nearly 2 miles) and be there between 0830-0900 for a ride that will cost you $12. Pressure on we blaze along, arms and legs pumping, we run numbers in our heads, divided by hours. Checking the map against the GPS we’re nervous. We ask the trail gods to give us some easy trail, but to no avail. We still have Seldom Pass to get over. It’s never ending steep ups and downs with lots of roots and boulders to step over. It’s slow going. We stop at a creek for lunch and soak our feet. We check the mileage … we can’t make it. Damn! This means we’ll miss the ferry ride and have to do the extra 8.7 miles (the things we do for food on the trail.) So what to do now? Easy. Take an hour and a half lunch, lay in the sun watching the clouds go by, and forget about it! That worked. We adjust the daily schedule and shoot for Bear Creek. Pressure off we relax to a comfortable hiking pace and enjoy the day. About 6pm we reach the creek and it’s roaring. It’s really a river at this point in the snow melt. Paul checks it out first without his pack just in case he goes for a swim. He returns with a thumbs up and says it freezing. Packs on, straps loose, and belt detached we enter together. He’s right the water is freezing. The water was thigh deep and the current pushed us down stream a bit. We had made our entry with this in mind and walked in an angle down stream to the opposite bank and making an exit on a sandy shore. Perfect! Back on shore we quickly dried our feet and put our boots back on complaining how cold the water was and how we were glad we didn’t have to do that again. We quickly found a flat place to camp and fell asleep knowing that tomorrow we would be at VVR (Vermilion’s Valley Resort).