From Vermillion Valley Resort to Tuolumne Meadows (Mile 941.5)

This was a short section and since Stephanie is slacking off on her blogging, I have been pulled into helping out on the updating of the blog.

I have no idea what she has written on the blog before now, and since I am not going to read it either I am just going to start from Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) and go from there.

Lake Edison

Lake Edison

VVR is not remotely what you think about when you hear the word “Resort”.  It is more like a campground with a tiny little store, with a small restaurant/ diner.

Well we arrived at VVR on Friday around 4 pm after a long day of hiking, actually we almost ran to the resort, because we heard stories of the good food and that your first beer is in the house. We arrived to find out all the rumors were true. First beer was on the house and we had a great dinner. For dinner we ordered 3 meals between the two of us: a dinner salad which we split, fish tacos, and smoked tri-tip with baked beans and mashed potatoes. Oh buddy, was the food good. It was a nice place to stop over because we were able to hang out with other hikers, swap some stories and get clean. We had more great food for breakfast and lunch, and we were very tempted to stay another night because the food they were smoking for dinner looked so good. But we forced ourselves to get out of the vortex and back on the trail.

On the "ferry" (read: tiny fishing boat) leaving Lake Edison

On the “ferry” (read: tiny fishing boat) leaving Lake Edison

OK, so to get back on the trail we had to get on a little fishing boat. Needless to say we weren’t really in the mood to hike after only a morning off the trail. We ended up hiking only a couple of miles until we found a great camping spot halfway up Silver Pass  on a rocky section of the mountain with a fantastic view of the valley below. It was too pretty to just hike by so we spent the last 2 hours before sunset taking in the view and reading.

Fun camping spot halfway up Silver Pass.

Fun camping spot halfway up Silver Pass.

As usual we got up later then we wanted to and started hiking. We stopped at Lake Virginia when we saw some of our trail friends hanging out at the lake. It was a great spot for lunch because we were able to sit down without every bug climbing all over us, we swam, and had a great view.

Mile marker 900! Please excuse my pasty legs.

Mile marker 900! Please excuse my pasty legs.

On the third day of this section we headed into Red’s Meadow, which is a third of the way to Canada. This is also where Devil’s Post-pile is, which was just a short side trip from the PCT. It was a cool little section of trail.

Devil's Post Pile

Devil’s Post Pile


Distant shot of Devil's Post Pile

Distant shot of Devil’s Post Pile

Then it was the last day push into Tuolumne. We were excited to get into town to shower, do laundry, and eat some good food, but we had to cover 19 miles before 4 pm to get our parcel from the post office.

Near Donahue Pass

Near Donahue Pass

The long rush to town started. We passed a lot of John Muir Trail hikers, and had a few words with them. It was nice to pass them because we were able to see the difference in our hiking fitness. They were like we were in the beginning – slow and breathing hard on the way up to Donahue Pass. It was just good to see the progress we have made.

We just got to the top of the pass when the clouds started to move in, and they were coming in fast. We made sure to get down fast because we started to hear thunder and we knew we would be in for a wet afternoon. We nearly got down to the meadow about 14 miles from town when it started to rain.

On the way into Tuolumne ... the rains made the creeks swell a bit.

On the way into Tuolumne … the rains made the creeks swell a bit.

Since we were going into town and thought we could do laundry and get our new shoes we would just cover up our packs and go for it. At first it was fun and refreshing to walking in the little bit of rain, until it started to hail. After about an hour of rain the trail turned into a river and we were soaked to the bone. We did the 14 miles in about 4.5 hours with only the last hour without rain. Our clothing was dry by the time we got to Tuolumne Meadows, but we were looking forward to the warmth of a hot shower.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

Much to our disappointment there we no showers in “town” or laundry, not really any of the comforts we were looking forward too. There is just a small store and a place to get a burger. We ended up finding a backpackers campsite and walked back to the store to get supplies for the next leg of the trip. We wanted to leave first thing in the morning but we wanted to at least rinse out some clothing before we headed out. We got back on the trail around 2 pm on the 3rd of July.

- Edwin

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