Waiting on the shoreline for the ferry to VVR, but the real landing is on the other side of these rocks and I almost missed the last ferry of the day.

I get to actually see civilization today.  Even though I have enough food to make it to Reds Meadow and Mammoth Lakes tomorrow, I’m craving real food so I’m taking a side trip to VVR.

I tried the fleece under the back trick last night and it worked out splendidly.  I slept well and could even sleep on my side with the fleece still underneath me.  I woke up at 5am and decided to listen to music instead of trying to sleep in.  Pink Floyd Animals.  Nice and mellow for my mountain lake campsite.  When I did get up thirty minutes later, I was not as stiff while moving around.  I got going at 6:30 and had no back pain.  Voila.  I did have a small twinge of pain around 10:30 while putting shoes on after a river crossing, but it went away in ten minutes or so.

Every valley in the Sierra has a big lake in it…. and mosquitoes.

About those river crossings… There’s usually twenty to thirty small streams to cross every day, and rarely a big one you need to actually wade.  Well today there were three crossings that required wading and I didn’t want to have wet feet all day so I took my shoes and socks off for all three of them.  They were all very fast flowing and about mid thigh deep.  Even with poles it was a chore keeping balance against the current.  And the water was ice cold to the point of causing physical pain after about ten seconds, but the crossings took thirty plus seconds to complete.  About ten seconds after you get out the feeling comes back and you feel refreshed for about twenty minutes afterwards.

Small snow fields like this add an interesting twist to the day.

There were two climbs of the day that were not too bad, but what I was really looking forward to was getting to Edison lake where I could catch the ferry to VVR.  The picture is from the ferry landing site.  They run two scheduled ferries at 9:45 and 4:45.  The ferry site is 1.5 miles off trail and quite a pleasant hike.  I got there at 3:30 and found that the ferry had just been there just a few minutes before.  I could hear the boat motoring away.  Darn, could have gotten there earlier.  No worries, find a nice rock and listen to tunes.  AC/DC High Voltage this time.

About 4:45 I decided to look around.  To my horror, the ferry was a quarter mile away and loading passengers.  I hauled ass and managed to get there just in time to grab the last seat on the last ferry.  That would not have been good to miss the boat, as the trail there is five miles of ups and downs.  If that had happened, I probably would have bailed out and just headed on to Mammoth Lakes.

Riding in the ferry to VVR for a hamburger and beer.

But I did make the boat, and I did get to VVR and I did get a hamburger with fried jalapeños on it.  Pure gastronomic bliss.  A soda and ice cream coated the belly as well.  This place is still out in the middle of nowhere and has no cell service or wifi but they do have a computer you can use for 30 minutes for $5, so I was able to send out a quick email to let the family know I am still alive and make a quick blog post telling the same.

Mourning the loss of this giant tree. Actually, just avoiding mosquitoes.

I talked to quite a few people, too.  A guy had been hiking with his son here earlier in the week and brought his entire family back out just to talk to PCT hikers.  Two of his kids were interested in hiking the PCT so they were out doing reconnaissance.  The PCT hikers that are here are a new batch for me, so it was nice to meet some new faces.  I have not seen any of the hikers from Kennedy Meadows here.

The store opens at 7 am tomorrow, so I will grab a quick breakfast and try to catch the early shuttle at 8 am so I can get a good chunk of the mileage to Mammoth Lakes out of the way tomorrow and have an easy day in the following day.  I was able to score four packets of tuna from the hiker box so I don’t think I need to buy any food from the store tomorrow.