Day 54 – change of plan

We were so cold and so wet. There was ice on the tents and when the sun came up it started to melt and rain in the tent. 

We hung around camp to dry out stuff in the sun before hiking. We also decided that we didn’t want to push through 38 miles in the next two days to get to Mammoth so we decided to make an unplanned stop to Vermillion Valley Resort in search of a soda and a burger. In theory we had 10 miles on the PCT and a short side trail to VVR. 

We had a series of creek crossings and walking on wobbly logs over streams in the morning. 

    

We came across some trail crew who were removing a tree from the trail. One was a ranger, he checked our permits (the first time mine has been checked by anyone) and checked if we had bear cans. 

  

We took a side trail that would get us to VVR. We ended up taking the wrong trail, although it still got us there! If we had taken the right one we would have got there a couple of hours earlier! But the trail we did take was amazingly beautiful. We played games on the way down and it was nice to hike together for a while. We came across an island in the middle of the creek – waterfalls, sandy beaches, access by fallen log. We named it Cool Puffler. 

We got cell service and checked in with home then it started to snow, so we quickly packed up and started moving. We bumped into a southbound JMTer and he said we had a three quarters of a mile before we had to turn off. He lied. It was about a quarter of a mile, so we were walking really fast and Growler and I hiked right past the turning. The sign was a bit of wood, attached to a tree, facing the other way. Cool breeze noticed the sign, of course, and he ran after us. We had gone about a mile out of our way!! We weren’t happy as the weather was getting worse and we still had over 3 miles to hike. 

We hiked the 600ft of up in the hail and freezing rain. It was so so cold. Then came the thunder and lightning. Cool breeze was waiting for me at the top to make sure I was ok. We got to the bottom of the hill and phoned for a lift – no lifts available. So we had a further 2 mile road walk to VVR. 

 
We met Catwater there, she started a day before us on this stretch and we have been hoping to catch her up the whole time. We got there a lot later than planned and our first priority was food, of course. PCT hikers get given a free beer on arrival which is a nice touch (considering how expensive everything else is!). I had been counting on a burger but sadly there weren’t any and I chose fish tacos instead – nice but not too satisfying. So we ordered a whole peach berry pie and ate that between us. We ran into Costco who I wasn’t expecting to see, the last I heard he was in Vegas! 

 
My gaiters are completely disintegrating so I picked up some new ones here. You couldn’t do a full resupply here but you could definitely supplement your food enough to get to Mammoth. 

 
We sat Inside by the fire for as long as we could, and when we got kicked out we sat outside by the fire until we really had to put up our tents. 

 
Tomorrow we go over Silver pass…

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