Knowing that we had relatively few miles to do to get to VVR today, and we didn't need to be to where the ferry docks until 4:30pm allowed us to get a late start and take it easy during the day.
Early on, just before the Bear Creek crossing, we ran into Wiz, Buttercup, and Wet Smoke again as they were just packing up camp. A little while after the crossing I hiked with Wiz for 5 miles or so and we caught up on some of the adventures we had each had over the past 400 miles. Since they aren't going to VVR, we made a plan to meet up in Mammoth and possibly share a car rental from Mammoth to Quincy for the High Sierra Music Festival on June 30. I don't know exactly what it's going to be, but it sounded like a good time, so I figured I might as well check it out!
The excitement of the day really revolved around 12 Ounce today. She got a little behind everyone else and lost our footprints in the snow so she used her map and compass to chart her course to Lake Edison where we agreed we would meet. At one point during that section of hiking there are 53 switchbacks descending from a ridge to the elevation of the river in the valley below. Unfortunately for her, as she was descending her bear can, which was strapped to the top of her pack, came loose and bounced and rolled down the hill a couple hundred yards. Since the bear can had some of her gear in it on addition to food she had to go down and find it, which she did, only to find herself cliffed out from the switchbacks and in need of an alternate course to the lake. Long story short, she bushwhacked and downclimbed granite on her way down to the lake. She made it there before the rest of us, but due to her alternate direct route, unfortunately she was on the wrong side of the river which was feeding the lake. She ended up having to walk back around, bushwhack some more, and she did eventually make it to the correct side of the lake and in time for the ferry.
12 Ounce is the example of a prepared hiker who knows how to read a map and use a compass. There was another hiker however who had neither a map, nor a compass, who got lost the same day. As of now, he is still lost, but hopefully he'll make it to VVR tonight.
VVR is really where the fun started though. There were about 30 hikers there enjoying the food, beer, and later on the campfire. The first beer is free. The first night camping is free. Everything else was pretty expensive, understandably, since we are in the middle of nowhere. The waitresses in the small restaurant were very entertaining, particularly Olive, and the pie was amazing. Mmmm.
Colin also got a trail name today! Since he is always checking what time it is or our pace or anticipated arrival time, it was decreed that henceforth he be known as Timex.
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