Day 79: 6/26/14, PCT Mile 878.7

Miles hiked: 19, over Selden Pass to Bear Ridge Trail (8.2 miles) to VVR
Camped at: Vermilion Valley Resort

Who says the PCT never has rain? HA! My 5th hiking day of hauling out the umbrella and rain gear unexpectedly made an appearance today. I awoke this morning to overcast skies, a true surprise considering the sky was brilliant with stars at 3am. It began to sprinkle at about 7am when I had just started hiking – I’m so glad I got packed up and out before the rain started – there’s not much I despise more with camp chores than packing up a wet tent! I realized I had a huge grin on my face climbing the 3 miles up to Selden Pass even as the sprinkles turned to true rain with wind to boot. Not only was Mr Gimpy 3.0 (umbrella) once again justifying it’s primary existence – though believe me I’ve been grateful for the escape from the sun the past few days in the exposed areas – the fog and actual weather made for great atmosphere. An atmosphere that I’ve missed! Plus, I just hike my strongest when it’s cool out. A win-win situation for me!

Selden Pass was one of the most interesting and beautiful to me thus far, I’m so glad I was up there in that weather! Not so majestic as Forester or Muir, but so much more simple loveliness that really appealed to me. Plus, trees! Since Selden is just under 11K, the trees and wildflowers cling to life even at the top of the pass. The southbounders I passed on the way down the pass didn’t look so enthralled or that they were having quite so much fun. I also easily conquered my second ford of the trip (Bear Creek) which just like Evolution Creek yesterday only came up to my knees. My skirt didn’t even get wet today! 3 thrus I’ve been leapfrogging with for this section (very speedy guys who I totally thought were ahead) were impressed I just waded in with my shoes on. After the rigmarole of taking off my shoes and socks, then drying off and putting everything back on last year in Maine, and with the Altras drying so quickly, I feel much more stable with my shoes on. After the ford, I met many section hikers who I enjoyed chatting with briefly. Allen was kind enough to give me an extra map he had showing the Bear Ridge Trail into the VVR area – thank you again!

I got to VVR by 5pm despite 2 climbs (of limited mileage) today, and the long but boring Bear Ridge side trail since VVR isn’t running the ferry across Lake Edison in the afternoon this year. The posted instructions said to walk across the dam at the end of the lake, and I felt shady as I hopped the “road closed” barrier, but it was legit. Arriving and seeing familiar hikers all with smiles on their faces, eating a great cheeseburger, salad, and cherry pie for dinner with Pockets, Dust Bunny, Coach, and Shakespeare (one of the speedy guys) made the memory of the 19 miles fade away. Good times indeed :).

Tomorrow I’m going to try to hike out in the later morning depending on the last ferry run. I was so eager to eat, then set up camp and visit with folks that I didn’t bother to shower or do laundry, both of which I’d prefer to do before hiking a few more days. However, I don’t feel like I need a zero day especially since I have to go into Mammoth in <30 miles for boxes. Eileen (perhaps Firestarter) and Christine (perhaps Cat Burgler), 2 great section hikers I met out of Kennedy Meadows offered to split a room in Mammoth with me, which is appealing. They are doing very similar daily mileage too! They are planning on going into Mammoth on Sunday morning.

Sue, Allen, Peggy, and Sage (section hikers out for their annual Sierra ramble):

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Selden Pass in the rain:

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Going into VVR:

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