Day 80: 6/27/14, PCT Mile 882.7

Miles hiked: Nero out of VVR 5.5: 4 miles on the PCT + 1.5+ on the VVR side trail from ferry
Camped at: alongside Silver Pass Creek

I used a clean towel as my pillow last night – fresh smelling and fluffy, it was the cleanest thing in my tent. Seriously, the cleanest as I didn’t shower or do laundry until this morning. My standards have been getting progressively lower through the Sierra – the past two days I didn’t even use baby wipes or clean off via the nightly water source. Sadly enough I counted the river fords as “washing” my legs and feet!

This morning at VVR was very leisurely – I woke up as normal at 5am, but knew the generators (aka hot water for the shower and breakfast) wouldn’t go on until 7am. Reading in bed, then a great breakfast amongst other hikers followed by the aforementioned shower, laundry and food sorting had me enjoying a Nero morning before the 11:30 ferry back to the VVR side trail. Did I mention brunch?! Ricky in the cafe was great enough to whip out a breakfast burrito and fresh fruit for me to eat right before I left. Ahhhh, final town food for….48 hours. Maybe a little longer depending on what time I get into Mammoth on Sunday. Hmm, that doesn’t seem like a long time! We’ll see if my ravenous tummy remembers.

The “ferry ride” is currently a small metal speedboat across Edison Lake which looks depressingly low. The boat ride was still tons of fun though! I rode out with 2 southbound JMT-ers, who are really taking their time – they are packing 18 days worth of food! Click Click is a photographer, and she told me they are only hiking 5-10 miles per day so she has lots of photography time. Except for the food weight, it sounds like a dream! Every day a Nero….back to the boat ride. Jeff from VVR first drive us down to the shoreline on a fun 4×4 sand road, and the boat ride itself was so much fun – sparkling bright blue water, and it lasted for quite a while. That lake is still big despite the drought! Brought back happy memories of the boat rides I had on the AT last year – the Kennebec canoe ferry and then the ride to Whitehouse Landing. Of the 3, I still think the WHL ride was the best – though too short – the Maine woods and mountains in autumn was a truly superlative setting! Ahhh, so amazing.

I was back on the PCT by 1:15 and made a leisurely climb to my current location, though parts of it were quite steep. Considering I was originally thinking about zeroing today, and I hiked 19 miles yesterday, the longest since my wellness period, I didn’t want to overdue it but still make some headway on Silver Pass. So I stopped here by 4:30pm about 3 miles from the “high point beyond Silver Pass” umm wouldn’t that be the pass itself?? So strange, somehow a false summit got the official recognition?

Right now I’m hiding in my tent from the mosquitos, but it’s so relaxing hearing the rush of the creek, chatting with Chef who was here for a while before hiking on, and anticipating reading for the rest of the evening (it’s only 7). If only every night on the trail could be this leisurely! All in all, a great Nero day. Tomorrow I’m going to challenge myself to my first 20 mile day in the Sierra. Woohoo! It may not happen as the elevation profile looks somewhat intense, but I’m feeling good! Lungs still aren’t 100% at these high elevations, but I’ve just accepted it at this point.

Any future PCT-ers or JMT-ers out there – definitely put VVR on your list of places to stop even if you don’t want to send a resupply box there and pay the fee (which is absolutely understandable because of it’s extremely remote location). A great rustic place, they are so hiker friendly! VVR is a wonderful treat in the middle of the Sierra :).

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