Thursday, August 29, 2013

day 18: 9th day on the JMT, Vermillion Valley Resort

On this day we slept in a little bit because all we had planned for the morning was to break camp, walk 1.4 miles to the Edison Lake Ferry and go to Vermillion Valley Resort to relax and get our second resupply.  All went well until we arrived at the ferry landing.  We were told to be there at 9:30 a.m. because it left at 9:45 a.m.  We were there at 9:15 and waited until 10:15 when the ferry finally arrived.  It was very frustrating because no one else was waiting, we weren't sure if it had come earlier or if it was coming at all and we had no way of contacting them (no cell service, because, hello we're in the middle of nowhere).

This is the lake where the ferry picked us up.  A combination of it having been drained some last year and having a dry winter left for a seriously low lake.  Yes, those are tree stumps.

But our "patience" paid off when Jim, the owner of VVR, rode up in a little John boat (the ferry) to get us.  We were thrilled!!  (I should mention here that the ferry runs twice a day, once at 9:45 a.m. and again around 4:00 p.m.  If we had missed the morning one we would've had to walk 4 miles around the lake to get to VVR.  Since my mind was set on taking it easy on this day I was determined not to have to walk those 4 extra miles.)  Jim is a very nice man and I really enjoyed chatting with him during our ferry ride.  He and his wife own VVR and it really seems that they care about hikers.  He said that hikers, locals and a few faithful summer vacationers are their main customers.  Seeing as the way to access VVR by land is to drive 50 or so miles down a one way dirt road, they don't get much thru-traffic, which they no doubt take pride in.  They are very accommodating and we really enjoyed our time there.  Everyone was so nice, from the people who worked there to the locals who come to hang out and tell bear stories.

 Boat dock on the other side of the lake, see how low it is? Practically nonexistent.

We decided to stay the whole day and spend the night (in our tent, no room this time!) so that we could rest before the second half of our trip.  We got our resupply, ate lunch (burgers and fries!), I took a nap, we took showers, washed our clothes, hung out with other hikers, ate dinner (steak and fish tacos!  You guess who ordered which entree.), then went to bed.

 Vermillion Valley Resort, y'all.  We're talking 5 stars here.  Just kidding, I have nothing bad to say about this place, we had a great experience.

It is a really great place and has a very welcoming feel to it.  Again, we really enjoyed our time here and were thankful that we chose to take the day off (this would be the only day we took off or as other hikers call it, our only "zero day").  We met Dan, from Massachusetts, three girls that just graduated college from MA and Brian, a teacher from Los Angeles.  They were all JMT hikers.  We met a lot of PCT hikers as well.  It was nice to be in the hiking community for a night.  They were all very happy go-lucky people and it was good to be surrounded by others that you could swap trail tales with and you knew they understood.

Campsite at VVR

*No JMT miles on this day
**If you are hiking the JMT, VVR gives a free beer to all thru-hikers, heck yeah!

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