Tuesday, August 27, 2013

day 17: 8th day on the JMT, Purple Lake to just before the Vermillion Valley Ferry pick up

We woke up to 38 degree weather which kind of set the feeling for the day.  The only time I had only a t-shirt and shorts on was when we were ascending our second mountain.  The rest of the time I had layers on.  It was incredibly windy for the majority of the day. 

So today we went up a mountain then descended a ton then climbed up Silver Pass (3.8 miles?) and descended over 2,000 feet after that.  No flat land.  Well, barely any flat land.  I hated ascending Silver, it seemed to go on forever.  But the view at the very top was gorgeous.  And we passed a lot of beautiful lakes along the way. 

 heading up Silver Pass

One of the little lakes going up Silver Pass

Panoramic shot while still going up Silver

On top of Silver, looking down at where we came from

View from the top of Silver

Us at the top of Silver Pass

Oh, before any of that happened...this morning John noticed that there were ice crystals in the lens of the camera!  And they wouldn't go away.  So after our first ascent (first thing that morning) we stopped at Lake Virginia and he took the whole camera apart and fixed it!  Such a smart engineer!  Lake Virginia was gorgeous but incredibly windy.

Lake Virginia

We had to cross some pretty scary creeks today, I started crying crossing one because I was so scared I wouldn't make it across.  I hate those creeks and I think they should put more large rocks in them or build little bridges.  I know it sounds silly to want those things out here in the wilderness but they are dangerous!  And of course we hiked across snow.  It wouldn't be an early June day on the JMT without hiking across snow.  I'm getting more used to it but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared every time I saw snow ahead on the trail. 

Creek crossing


I'm learning that every day on the JMT is tough in a different way and I just hope I'm tough enough to keep up.  The descents really killed my feet and knees today.  And of course I slid a lot.  Thank goodness for my trekking poles!

Today I sang a lot of Avett Brothers' songs in my head as well as "One, two, buckle my shoe"--where that came from, I do not know.  I did some praying and some self-talk--"You are brave, strong, courageous and a fighter."  Every little bit of motivation helps up those ascents.

So we left Purple Lake this morning and now we are about 1.4 miles away from the Vermillion Valley Resort Ferry pick up area.  We will get our second resupply tomorrow!  We didn't plan that too well but we'll deal with it (the days between Red's and VVR were shorter than we expected, therefore we had more food than we expected).

What hurts: knees, calves intermittently and feet.  My feet are sore and I have a huge blister under my left big toe.  Other little blisters are forming.  John is feeling good, his feet aren't really hurting him anymore.

 Campsite close to VVR ferry pick up

*We climbed about 2400 feet and descended 4500 feet, we hiked 15.4 miles.

Total JMT miles: 88

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