Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR) at mile 878 to mile ?
The ferry ride back to the trail in the morning felt warmer than yesterday's ride. We saw Nightingale at the dock and and gave her some snacks (one of the guys had the idea to send food to her with a JMT southbounder, but she was at the dock). The snacks.seemed to really make her happy. There were also a handful of people that I hadn't seen for awhile so we exchanged quick updates.
We didn't get back to the PCT until 10:15-a late start for a hopefully a high mile day. And even though it was early it was already hot out. The day started out slow-with an uphill. My breakfast stuck with me for all of the uphill-which was pretty awesome.
We did stop next to Mono Creek for a break. The water was clearer than any piece of glass and the bottom was sandy-very inviting. While Portrait and Opus had snack on the bank I wadded into the water. It wasn't too cold. I did the slow torture way of getting into cold water (deeper inch by inch), but I did get all the way in. I went under and quickly made my way to the shore to dry off and warm back up.
I started hiking before the others but they caught me minutes later at the next river crossing. I had dry shoes and socks, but for some reason I splashed on through like a kid in a puddle. It was great and really helped me stay cool on the way up.
The trail crossed the creek a few more times and eventually it lead to the bottom of a cascade. It was beautiful. It wasn't a lot of water, but thin white ribbons slipping down smooth rocks. The trail was on a little shelf where the water pooled and then plunged off the shelf. I splashed through-totally enjoying myself.
The trail went up to the top of the waterfall and we tossed in baby pine cones and twigs to see who had the best ride over the falls. None of this was getting us any closer to Mammoth, but it was fun.
Once we left the river we did get a little more serious about the hiking, but only until the 1/3 of the way done marker that Portrait made (Opus and I had snack while being eaten by mosquitoes).
We hiked for aways without stopping-made it to the top of the ridge and then we had a snack break-a quick one of course because the mosquitoes also wanted a snack. The trail was on a side hill after our break overlooking a lake in a valley. I was at the front, Portrait behind me, and Opus last. We hadn't been going ten minutes when we heard cursing from Opus and I turned and saw him limping around on one foot. He'd rolled his bad ankle while looking at the lake. He sat a minute, rubbed it, and got out his ankle brace. While he was putting it on we heard whistling and Buster came around the bend.
He said he was happy to see us-he had packed out a whole pie from VVR that he needed help eating. Opus said he'd be happy to help, but Portrait and I don't eat pie. We went down to one of the many lakes and oddly enough it wasn't too buggy. Buster ate pie, I ate pudding, Portrait ate candy, and Opus had beef jerky and pie. Two southbound JMT hikers helped finish the pie.
After dinner we had a couple more miles planned. Portrait and Buster took off down the trail. I stuck with Opus who was walking slow and careful. We weren't going too much farther-just to the next lake. It wasn't the long day that I would have liked, but it was fun.