Apologies from the transcriber — Jamie mailed me detailed trail notes from Tuolumne late June but they didn’t get to me till recently. So please allow your mind to travel back in time and join Jamie traversing the highest, and what some consider the most scenic, part of the Sierra: Saturday 6/22 — Vermilion Valley Resort! Woke up at 4:45 am with Hitch, so we could make it to VVR by 9am and have an amazing breakfast. We were both really jonesing for a good meal and some pie 🙂 Getting up that early was actually pretty easy even though it was cold and my fingers were numb all morning. Also, the mosquitoes were still out. Looks like we have entered the portion of the Sierras that mosquitoes LOVE — I have over 10 bites already 😦 So, we hiked two miles to the Bear Ridge Trail, and then downhill four miles to the dam of Lake Edison, then another mile over to the resort and got there at 9:05 am and immediately got in the cafe and joined another hiker, Messenger (an 18 year old Israeli) and immediately got served coffee , water/OJ. It was SO good too. It felt so good to be sitting and getting calories in my body. I ordered “The Mountaineer” which had 3 eggs, a yummy cheese biscuit, home fries and bacon and an oat cake with butter and syrup on the side. So delicious! I could have eaten two, but it cost $18.95! So, then I bought a few goodies at the C-store (more snickers bars and tuna and tortillas and energy drink mix) then retrieved my box for $20.00 and packed up my food. Pretty pricey place. OH! I also bought some new brightly colored gaiters, because they had a bunch there for $20, and usually they are sold only online for the same price. So, I got some neon pink/blu/green/yellow psychedelic ones 🙂 My old ones had a few holes. Then, I figured out that I could get some cell service at the old boat launch to the lake, so I called Frazier. Then I came back and ate lunch with Hitch, Halfway, Whispers and Siesta – a burger, fries, apple pie and ice cream, mmmmmmmmmm…. Definitely felt full, but not overstuffed. I wanted to take a nap, but instead I returned to the “phone” area to call Frazier back. Looks like he will be able to join me in Tuolumne Meadows or Lake Tahoe 🙂 At four pm I caught the small boat over Lake Edison back to the connector trail (1.5 miles back to the PCT). I was the only one on that trip b/c I missed the one at 3pm due to an early departure 😦 I was a bit disappointed b/c I wanted to keep hiking with my new friends, but didn’t let it bother me too much. Instead I just powered through the trail, fueled by the fabulous restaurant meals, and miraculously caught up to them 6 miles in on the PCT, just before Silver Pass. (YAY!) I really thought they would have made it over the next pass, but they didn’t! Lots of mosquitoes though, where we camped, again 😦 Now, it’s only a day and a half to Mammoth 🙂 Yippee! I will shower, do laundry, eat and resupply for 1 day without staying in a hotel, because unfortunately, I am now short on cash after Vermillion Valley Resort (they are VERY pricey). Lesson learned. I knew it too, but really wanted to eat some real food. Oh well. Guess I will just have to control myself in Mammoth. Then it’s only 2 days to Tuolumne Meadows. I’m feeling good and not too exhausted thankfully. I’m glad to have made some new friends and to be able to do the mileage I have been doing. I have learned a few more things, too, like: 1) the Sawyer squeeze filter can break if it freezes and you won’t know it! BOO! So, sleep with it in your bag. 2) Pocket Rocket is amazing — good stove for the Sierra and rest of the trail, really 3) eat dinner before camp: makes life easier in bear country 4) I prefer hiking alone most often (except Hitch is really cool and at the same pace ) but meeting up with people at lunch and camp 5) my legs are SO fried from the sun — need sunscreen and lotion 6) try to camp below 11,000 feet 7) need to get a pee bottle for the tent 8) alpine lakes are the best lakes in the world! 9) coming down Mather Pass was the Golden Staircase 10) Muir Pass is my favorite 11) Evolution Lake my fave lake so far 12) SO glad I have crocs! Makes river fords so much nicer:) Sunday 6/23 8am – 6pm mile 882.5 – 903.9 ~ 21 miles – Silver Pass – lost of up and down – hiked alone – camped last night w/ Hitch, Halfway, Reno (I was the last one on trail this am) – camped w/ Bandleader, Maggie, Matan and Honkura Nakura (Israeli) at a kick-ass campsite by Crater Creek with a fire! – cold today cloud cover – sore feet/knees/legs today – excited for Mammoth tomorrow at Red’s Meadow mile 906 – got phone reception at campsite, so got to talk to Frazier 🙂 🙂 – Purple Lake was the largest/prettiest lake I passed today – Maggie is super cool – another solo female
. Lost Hitch, she must have hiked the extra 4 miles into Red’s meadow. Boo. But I am glad for the company again.