(all images are clickable for a larger version)
VVR (Vermillion Valley Resort) is approaching!
This will be the first time since my start more than two weeks ago that I will have more contact with civilization: food, beverages, shower, laundry.
Starting relatively early at 7:30 am I had plenty of time to reach the lake shore in time for the ferry, which arrives there around 4:30 pm. I walked from the tent site (9.250 ft) up to 9.900 ft and later down in switchbacks to 7.900 ft.
After the footbridge across Mono Creek I took the trail to Lake Edison. It was partly quite swampy and not well maintained but just a bit over a mile until I reached the small turnoff to the ferry landing.
I arrived at the lake before 2 pm and used the extra time to enjoy a swim in the lake. The water was quite warm and such a nice feeling after more than two weeks without a real bath. I stayed there until 3:30 pm, lying in the sun on the warm granite blocks and drying myself and my clothes.
Then I walked another short stretch to the ferry landing where already a group of hikers had gathered, waiting for the “Edison Queen”.
And there it came, our watertaxi! Just two people wanted to leave this afternoon, but after we had boarded the ferry was nearly full. Among the passengers was the swedish couple I had met first at Kearsarge Pass, and several times on trail since then. They had stayed two days ago for one night at MTR where I had passed them but they caught up today.
Half an hour later we landed at the western shore of Lake Edison and walked up a short stretch to the resort. There we got a warm welcome and some information, after which we could choose our free cold beverage. Their beer selection was quite broad, and I got a Becks for me – not really my prefered brand but much ahead of those american rice beers.
I set up my tent and then tried to claim my resupply bucket and the parcel from REI. Luckily both had arrived already – they have to drive from VVR some 20 miles to the next village for mail, and do this only about twice a week. But it was quite late until I finally got both. I then also sent the Garmin inReach which I had found in the snow at Forester Pass and carried since then to his owner – another 250 g less in the pack.
During the dinner I made some new friends from southbound JMT hikers which were the vast majority here. After inflating the – hopefully tight – new matress I took the wine bottle and the pringle tubes and went to the fire place. A girl had a guitar with her – carried it on the whole trail – and was singing well known Americana and folk songs while I let the food and wine go round. We stayed long after hiker’s midnight (= 9 pm) and talked until the last went to their tents around 11 pm.
I took photos only the next morning. I then also had my shower and laundry. After breakfast I hurried to take the tent down and pack my backpack to be ready in time for the 9 am ferry when I heard that there are too many passengers for the Edison Queen, and thus there will be two runs, the first already at 8:30 am.
So I had to wait together with the majority of the hikers until 10 am when the ferry was finally back. And it was close to 11 am until I could hike on.
I had forgotten my hat at the ferry landing last afternoon but luckily it was still laying where I had left it. Otherwise it would have been a bad hike without its sun protection.
It was quite hot, and I advanced slowly. So I did not make it really up to the pass though it was only 7.5 miles, but stopped a bit before at the shore of Silver Pass Lake at 10.400 ft. At least I would cross the pass tomorrow morning not too late.