Midway through the High Sierras, we stopped in for a break at Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is just before Silver Pass for northbounders, and is seen as a welcome oasis of civilization. Gangles and I hiked some long days beforehand, fueled by lack of food (i.e., urgency), and the promise of cell phone reception. We hiked a 21, and then a 24 into Mono Creek, where we camped next to the bridge. Across the bridge is the 1.5mi spur trail to the bank of Lake Edison, where the VVR ferry picks up twice per day. We were aiming for the morning ferry, which required a late night of hiking.
We hiked up and down Bear Ridge as the sun was setting, then stumbled around in the dark for another hour or so looking for a camp site. My secret plan was to walk all the way to the bridge, which was a long 24mi day. On the way, we saw a campfire, and like moths to a flame, drifted over automatically. We met some sweet JMT sobos, who were happy to share with us.
The next morning we caught the morning ferry to VVR. We spent a great day and afternoon at VVR, enjoying the hospitality of Jim, Byron, Annie, Olive, Indiana, Ben, and the rest of the staff at VVR. I also reread one of my favorite books, Louis Sachar's young adult classic, "Holes". Since then, I've been seeing God's Thumb everywhere.
We had planned to take the afternoon ferry out the next day. Around 2pm, I ran into William, a Lt. in the SF Police force. He was up at VVR with his son, Christian, and his friends to fish the fantastic trout lakes and creeks in the High Sierras. We chatted about SF, the PCT, and fishing, and he spontaneously invited us to a fish fry he was having the evening.
Though we have strict hiking plans, I though a fish fry would be a welcome inducement to stay the night. Jim let us stay another night, and we (BR, Moosie, Gangles, Sexy Vermin, Lady LNT, Wide Angle and Wounded Knee) went over to William's cabin with three pies and a few six packs of beer. We weren't sure what to expect, but here's what we got: fresh trout steamed with tarragon, trout wrapped in lavash and roasted, marinated lamb chops, roasted corn, and s'mores (courtesy of the master chef Christian). And that's just the food. The conversation and company were great--we learned about the SF trolley system, Armenian food, abalone fishing, the latest on the Bachelor and Bachelorette series, etc.
An amazing night, with amazing people. We owe a tremendous thanks to William, Jose, Christian, Andres, Jacques, and the rest of the bay area crew. And, if you're ever looking for a wedding DJ or photographer, let me know. I have a solid recommendation for you.