Wednesday, June 18, 2008
We got to sleep in! Had breakfast at VVR (I had a breakfast sandwich, 2 pancakes and Tazo tea and thought of Karin at work, hi Karin!!) and then caught the big boat back across the lake and started hiking around 1030. Crossed Mono Creek 3 times, the first was the strongest and the last was the most beautiful water crossing ever! We basically crossed the river in the middle of a waterfall! Just beautiful. Hiked up and over Silver Pass (the pass with the least amount of snow yet) And then past a bunch of lakes and hiked until almost 8pm and got in about 20 miles which is pretty good considering we didn't start until 1030! One lake we passed, we had to cross the outlet of water and there were stone steps to walk over, but the water was up over the steps and it seemed like an optical illusion, the water was sooo still and clear that you felt like you were going to step on the rock........but it was really atleast 6 inches under water! Almost like the rocks were under glass!
Hiked 8 miles to VVR ( a campground with food!) We took a "ferry" across the lake (the ferry was actually a boat that had to be smaller than my dad's fishing boat!!) and stayed the night at the campground. The owner (Jim) was just coming back from the store in town (over an hour's drive away) and was resupplying the store with goodies! We just sat outside and watched him bring in box after box of food, waited a few minutes and then went in and bought something else to eat! The store has a scale outside and when we got there, it said I weighed 112 and Neighbor 183........we thought.........oh, no! But then someone said the scale was 4 pounds off. So, I'm down to 116 and Neighbor to 187. We made sure to eat lots! Had a cheeseburger and fries when we got there and the waitress was just putting the movie "Into the Wild" on, so I sat in the restaurant for the next 2 hours and watched the whole thing. Good movie. We managed to fix the belt on my pants that broke a few days back, so I'm back to pants that fit!
My parent's surprise 25th anniversary party today.......Thinking of you guys all day long!
Up early and within 2 miles, we were to Evolution Creek crossing (where both Neighbor and I stripped down to our underware to cross the creek) Not too bad and not too chilly thank goodness! Saw a big brown bear today, neighbor saw it standing up scratching it's back on a tree! Climbed over Selden Pass (easiest pass) Felt great today (lots of good camping on the south side of Selden) Not too much snow on the south side too! (but some on the north) Had to cross Bear creek at 5:30pm (I don't like big river crossings) and neighbor came back across the river to get my pack and then guided me across and I am SOOO glad he did, I probably would have been swimming in that one. It wasn't a pretty site.
Chief slept cowboy last night with his headnet on! Funny guy! Hiking by 6am and headed to Muir pass. Saw a small black bear on his way to get water, he just stopped (like he was camoflagued) as I walked by and snapped a pretty lame picture. Muir pass was pretty snow filled, had trouble finding the trail, soon we were slipping and sliding our way up to the pass. There is a hut at the top of the pass, and it's very cool (I'll add a picture soon) We passed one lone hiker (hiking the JMT) today. (We only saw 1 hiker in 2 days) If you get in between the groups of hikers, you really do feel isolated in these big mountains. Had to cross over a few snowbridges today with rushing water underneith, just holding my breath hoping that they don't break as I walk over!!! Came to this view of Evolution Valley today and wow, isn't it just like a postcard?! Camped near Mclure ranger station and the mosquitos were out in full force (we wore our headnets!!!)
Hiking by 0620 and downhill to a raging "creek" crossing! Brrrr, at 7am, dipping into that frigid water was the last thing I wanted to do! But we made it across and let our legs get feeling back into them and went along our merry way to Mather Pass. Nice walking, lots of snow covered streams (like the one in the picture) you just never know how long the snow is going to hold while you are walking over them!!! EEEeeeek! Up the steep pass we climbed and walked alongside some beautiful lakes (Palisade Lakes) and rivers for miles. Every corner you came around was a new beautiful view, sometimes it seems fake it is just so beautiful. In the end, we hiked close to 20 miles and camped next to the Le Conte Canyon ranger station (closed) and the mosquitos were out for the first time on the trip!! I don't think they were biting, just flying around, but they were out!!!
Beautiful walking this morning, the sun and the reflections on the lakes were amazing. One tricky river crossing with fast rushing water with 2 narrow downed trees (covered in ice) to cross on....got my heart beating fast! The next crossing was more rushing water where we just took our shoes off and then decided to change into shorts and try that for something new. (should have put on sunscreen..) Then we crossed the river again, but on a big swinging suspension bridge! Up and over Pinchot Pass, made it to the top of that pass by 3:15pm and thank goodness the other side wasn't as snowy as this side, cause we'd be sinking in snow up to our hips all afternoon!!! Camped up high with an amazing view of massive mountains all around us! What a place to be!
Walked to the bakery for breakfast (man, I love that place!) Then caught the 7am bus from Bishop back 42 miles to Independence and then hitched for close to 2 hours and finally got a ride back to the trail! A nice guy named Brian gave 4 of us and packs a ride up the big hill! Thanks again Brian, hope the car is still hanging in there for you!! The hike up kearsarge pass wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be and we motored right along....powered by cinnamon sticky buns from the bakery!! We made our way over Glen Pass (had to use the ice axes) and then down to Rae Lakes where we camped for the night. I have no idea where this picture was taken, it just looked pretty!