“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
Sallie Keyes Lakes to Vermillion Valley Resort
Today was a day of thanks for many things. The saga begins with an easy stroll up Selden Pass, snow-covered of course. Marie Lakes from Selden Pass is one of my favorite views in the entire Sierra. During a normal July day, the landscape would be dotted with sapphire blue lakes framed by a backdrop of dramatic and colorful peaks. Today, it looked more like a field of snow. Crazy spaghetti! We headed toward Bear Creek, which is another creek crossing that would be a challenge. However, we hit it at the right time of day when the water level is at its lowest. Chili took the lead and the route looked good. He really has become our guinea pig going first continually. I look at it this way, he loves it.
After having a quick-lunch with our friends the mosquitoes, Flying Fish and Miscreant came by in a big hurry to make it to the 4:45 ferry across the lake to Vermillion Valley Resort. You see if you miss the ferry it is a 5-mile walk around the lake to the resort or a 17-hour wait for the next shuttle. Our team had a food resupply we mailed ahead to pick-up at the resort and we were looking forward to showers and hot food. So we decided we had better hoof it to make the ferry. Well..we had the brilliant idea to send Silly ahead to catch Flying Fish and Miscreant to ask them to hold the ferry if we were a few minutes late. Well…after Dan and I hiked about a mile down the trail, there was a vital and NOT clearly marked intersection. Go straight (which Silly did) and it lands a hiker at Mono Hot Springs. He did not have a map, GPS, or watch. Not good. Bad mom and dad!!! So we took a chance and headed up the PCT. Dan eventually went ahead to hopefully catch Grant. When I reached the plethora of switchbacks that descend to Edison Lake the snow started and the trail was all but gone. Well…I just whipped out my trusty i Phone with the Topo Maps app and Halfmile’s waypoints and navigated down the hill. Silly Chili and Dan, however, did not have that luxury. I was frantic and upset that we had not stuck to the rule, STICK TOGETHER.
As it turns out, Silly Chili did go the wrong way but realized it after a couple of miles and some wait time. He turned around (without a map) and blazed to the trail intersection, up the hill, and somehow managed to navigate the switchbacks down to the lake (he just went straight down the hill at warp speed). Amazingly enough just as I was about 5 minutes from the landing for the ferry Dan had backtracked to locate me and to give the bad news that Silly was not there and here comes Silly Chili cruising in. We were all overwhelmed with thankfulness that God had heard our prayers. It was a moment to be remembered!
At VVR we rented a tent cabin, bought Coppertone sunscreen, and had a delicious dinner. I am thankful this evening for a reunited family, arrival at the VVR shuttle on time, a shower, clean clothes, great food, phone reception, and a soft warm bed.