Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 52- A Ferry Ride

Mile 862 to Vermilion Valley Resort at mile 878

At 5:30 Opus woke us up.  Town days are special which usually means early wake-up calls to maximize time in town.  Typically I wake up before 6 if I'm alone and usually earlier when camped with others.  I was still sound asleep when Opus called my trail name-I didn't sleep that well and may have been a little reluctant about waking.  Once I was up I was packed quickly.  I had cold oatmeal for breakfast and then we left camp to hike up Selden Pass.

With most of the climb done the night before it made for an easy climb to the top of the pass.  The guide book calls this the easiest of the passes and I thought it was quaint while hiking up-it had trees, it was smaller than the others, it just seemed nice.

It did have a patch of snow at the top that took about three steps to cross-we almost had to put on our micro spikes.  the view was wonderful.  It might be my favorite view from any of the passes so far.  On the north side looking out there were so many lakes in the valley.  There is a rock up there that looks like it's on the edge of the pass-we all stood on it for pictures with the lakes behind us.

After second breakfast it was time to head on down.  The trail went along the lakes we had looked down on.  They were still lovely close up, but the mosquitoes were hungry so there was no lingering (not that we wanted to anyways with a 4:30 ferry to catch to the resort).

After a few miles of downhill Bear Creek was waiting.  This was supposed to be our other most challenging ford.  There were some mosquitoes to swat at while I took off my shoes and zipped off my pant legs.  I crossed in my camp shoes-not really supposed to do that, but the water was low, and the crossing was easy.  We left the creek before the bugs could make too much of a snack on us.

The trail followed the creek for awhile, and we cruised right along.  We stopped for a short lunch before we started the five mile descent down to the trail junction for the resort.  The beginning of the downhill was on hot exposed switchbacks-I don't know why I thought the Sierra's were going to be 70 degrees every day, but they are much hotter.  It was a relief to get into some big pines. Although it seemed like half of those pines had blown down during last year's wind event and they hadn't been cleared yet.  It was slow going around and over them-it was a little taste of what might be waiting up ahead.

We arrived at the trail junction around 3 p.m. and set off on the 1.3 side trail to the ferry boat landing.  That 1.3 seemed to take longer than the rest of the day-side trails are usually like that.  But eventually the lake came into view and it dashed my hopes of going for a dip.  The water was choppy and the landing was right next to the outlet and seemed to have a good current and there wasn't a beachy area near by-just really deep water.  It felt nice to rise off with my bandanna though.

At 4:45 Opus, a JMT southbounder and I boarded the boat to the resort and dinner.

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