VVR – just past the Rose Lakes junction
7900 – 10,035 (+ 2135) – 9.4 miles
Free Maps Online – Day 13 – Map 10
We had a great final breakfast. Truth be told, it was Kevin’s day off and big Roy was manning the helm. These were not as good as Kevin’s. They were good, but nothing to write home about. Every one of Kevin’s meals was write-home-worthy. Jake and I each packed out a #6 for dinner. I could hear Roy asking Olive something about peppers and said, “Yep. Everything just wrapped up in a burrito!” What we did not discover until dinner that night, Big Roy threw the side of potatoes into the wrap with the eggs too! These were at least 1 pound burritos. Jake packed out a whole peach-berry pie – probably three pounds. Olive wrapped it in two layers of foil, and Jake wrapped that up in his tent and carried it at the top of his pack.
We all finished our packing and reconvened for the ferry – Jake, Joe, Elena, G-Man and I and a few nice folks I just did not get the chance to talk with much.
There was a passel of folks waiting to catch the ferry back into VVR when we got off. As they departed, Joe gave them a Casa De Luna Salute!
Elena told me previously that she was fast downhill, but SUPER slow uphill. She took off right after a picture to start getting up the hill and assured us we would catch her.
G-man, Pop Joe, Jake and I messed about taking pictures and getting our heads right to resume the walking. On the 1.4 mile trail back to the JMT/PCT, G-man, Floyd, and Pop Joe came up with a trail name for Elena and she loved it – SilkE. I don’t remember if it had happened back at VVR or not, but certainly by the time we finished that 1.4, we were Fox Force Five! We said a happy/sad goodbye to G-man and resumed the JMT.
I spent some time hiking with SilkE and found out that she is an actress and teaches acting as well. That is part of the reason she was in long sleeve pants and shirts – to protect herself from the sun to maintain her youthful glow. We all agreed and told her she looked early 20s. She did the Dance of Joy and said she was 34.
Getting on towards 6 PM, SilkE and I were in the vanguard and I called a halt at a place with decent camping options so that we could all re-unite and make our first real decision as a group. To camp now or later? I knew I did not have too long left in me, but thought I could go a while longer. But I wanted to touch base with everyone else and see how they were doing. In addition to my “normal” re-supply stuff for 10 days, I had that 1 pound Burrito. Jake was in the same boat plus the three-pound pie. SilkE was ready for more. Jake said he could go on, and Joe wanted to get some more in as well.
We went on. A short while later we stopped for a moment, and when we started hiking uphill again, Joe was cruising! (I was to learn over time that Joe does not maintain that breakneck pace, but different things kick in his turbos for a bit.) I not only could not catch Joe, every time I got close, he pulled more speed out of somewhere and went faster up that mountain. I called out and announced that I was done. They could go on and I would catch them in the AM, but I was ready to stop. This was sort of a pivotal moment. Jake was going to stay with me despite his desire to keep hiking with these fun folks. SilkE and Joe both wanted to go on a bit, but after his first 5-7 days alone, Joe decided to camp with us. SilkE agreed as well, but it did take a minute. We found a great camp near some fresh water. The mosquitoes were out in force and we ate in our head-nets with rain gear on to keep the biting to a minimum. After dinner, Joe and SilkE had some pie. I think Floyd did also. I abstained as I am not a big fan of the sweets, and Kevin told us that the crust was made with lard – which was not to attractive to me.
We hit the hay ready for sleep after a decent climb.
Tomorrow: Will SilkE and Joe stay with these two crazy dudes?