15 Jun Not Very Vermilion Valley and Reds Meadow
After some big passes, we actually did a shorter 16 mile day. The next day we were ready to get to our next resupply point.
We didn’t look at any maps in the morning and were surprised by a good hardy climb. When the climb leveled out, we thought we’d be in for a nice gradual downhill to Edison Lake and Vermilion Valley Resort. Instead it was a steep downhill that punished my knees and got my ankle all swole up. We passed up a shortcut trail that would get us to VVR sooner in order to “experience the PCT”. We paid for it. Finally reaching the turn off to our resort and resupply point we found out the trail around the lake was 6.5 miles instead of the 4.5 we had heard. We really put it into gear with cold beer on the mind and started down the trail. Birdman pulled away which gave me room to loudly curse the indirect, up and down “lakeside” trail. The trail wasn’t particularly rough at any point but I had assumed it would be a very different trail that day. In all, it would be 28 miles to the door of VVR. The resort consisted of a small store with an adjoining diner. Most hikers camped outside as space was limited. We beelined it to the diner for some grub.
Black Butte Porters and pork loin with mashed potatoes erased the frustrations of the day quickly. A piece of cherry pie turned the whole dang day to sunshine in the end. I enjoyed listening to drunken campfire conversations and meeting a couple new hikers before heading to bed.
Next day we packed up, ate a hearty diner breakfast, paid our crazy tabs (it was pricey) and were able to catch a boat ride across the lake.
I was disappointed in a late start as we reached the trail at 11:20 just due to the ferry schedule.
Did about 13 miles before calling it quits at Virginia lake. I threw a tantrum (silently steamed) the rest of the night when I realized my knife slipped off my hip at some point. Hope someone decent finds it and does something remarkable with it. It was a good knife to me.
Finally, the next day was a stroll with easy trail down to Red’s Meadow. We crossed the 900 mile mark and also saw the amazingly torn up landscape from some sustained 130 mile winds they had last fall. Pines and aspens of all sizes uprooted or snapped in half for miles of trail. Remarkable demolition Mother Nature can dole out.
At 1330, we reached Red’s Meadow and again couldn’t wait to get some diner food. Here we were celebrating 900 miles so it had to be something special: I ordered up a double Bacon cheeseburger and a root beer float. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a root beer float but this was spectacular. I’m gonna do it more often.
We left after lunch and headed out another ten miles where we came to a car camping site: Agnew Meadows. The mosquitoes were thick and so we put our heads down as we walked through the campground. Birdman looked up just in time to see a sign posted on a tree reading: Chase Nelson, you left your belongings (important) at Reds Meadow. There was a number listed. I gave them a call and realized I had left my wallet (plastic sandwich bag with ID and credit card). I felt like an idiot and imagined having to walk back 10 miles to get it. Thankfully someone there was willing to drive it out. I did end IP waiting until 9:30pm before someone showed and then had to climb 3/4 of a mile up a ridge to find decent camping. It was a long eventful day.
Next stop Tuolomne Meadows.