PCT Day 64 – Return to Civilization!

Started: 07:00 @ MM 862.6 High camp below Selden Pass (Elevation 10,111ft)

Finished: 16:00 @ MM 878.8 Lake Edison VVR Ferry (Elevation 7,674ft)

Miles: 16.4 plus 1.4 on VVR Trail

Elevation Gain/Loss: +2,145/-4,562ft

Food: NO Oatmeal! Cliff Bar, Snickers, Instant Mash Potato & Salmon, Gummi Bears, Trail Mix, Almond Joy, Chicken & Pasta, Chocolate & PB Shake

Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 8, Days since laundry 8

Inspite of the cold I was up and on the go super early. Having nothing to eat apart from a Cliff Bar did add some efficiency to my morning routine. Today we would return to civilization (of sorts). I would be able to replenish my seriously depleted food supply and clean my incredibly funky body! First we had the small matter of Selden Pass, Bear Creek and almost 18 miles of trail to contend with.

Snow on the way up Selden Pass.
It was a short and thankfully not too strenuous climb to the top of Selden. There was plenty of snow but at last I seem to have adapted to it. I celebrated my nimble ascent by eating my last Snickers Bar. It was 10am … there was a lot of day and a lot of miles yet to go and all I had to see me through was a single serve pouch of salmon, a handful of trail mix and 6 Gummi Bears! I was hungry and worried that I would run out of energy.
Turbo making light work of one of the day’s many crossings.
The descent involved only minor navigational challenges and by noon we were at Bear Creek, another of the purportedly perilous crossings. It was undeniably deep and undeniably wide, but thankfully flowing quite slowly. I got myself prepared and took the plunge. The water came up to my waist as I carefully picked my way across the rocks and boulders. Not a moment too soon I was back in the shallows and safely across … my legs a little shaky and my heart pounding from the surge of adrenalin.
Another pass conquered … Civilization ahead!
We pressed on to the Bear Ridge Trail junction, crossing about dozen more minor creeks along the way. It was another day of Trench Foot. At the junction we stopped for lunch and Turtle and I pooled our remaining resources, creating an epicurean delight of instant mash potato and salmon. I hoped that it would be enough to get me up the last 1,000ft climb and down to Edison Lake and the ferry to civilization.
Loading up bodies and bags on the VVR Ferry.
The climb was hard but the descent was even worse. The steep, rocky switchbacks made me feel quite dizzy and played havoc with the ball of my right foot, which was still grumbling after the epic Muir snow shenanigans. Eventually things flattened out and I found myself meandering through a dense forest of massive sequoia trees. Quite suddenly the trees stopped and I emerged onto the edge of a lake, except that the lake was nowhere near the edge. Decades of drought had lowered the water levels considerably, lengthening my hike and shortening my ferry ride. 
Hollywood, Butterfly and the Ferryman!
We loaded our packs and selves into the little tin tub and held onto our hats for the 20 min ride across the lake. On the other side was a paradise called Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR). After so long in the wilderness, this place felt like civilization. I had to keep reminding myself that it was still a 3 hour drive to the nearest main road! The whole place was powered by an enormous generator which was switched off at 10pm, there was no wifi or phone service and needless to say the price of everything reflected these facts. I didn’t care … my need to eat, shower and wash my stinky clothes far out weighed any financial compunction. A proper cooked meal, hot running water and clean PJs has never, ever felt so good. It was a shock to see myself in a mirror for the first time in over a week. I looked weather worn, disheveled and conspicuously thinner … the High Sierras had certainly left their mark!

One thought on “PCT Day 64 – Return to Civilization!

  1. Congrats! The toughest part of the Sierra is behind you. Well Tuolumne Meadows is difficult but for a different reason, battling the crowd of people. By the way, a fellow.h I ker told me that the drought was only part of the reason Lake Edison is so low. They need to keep it at least 10 feet below the top of the dam by order of the State of California. I believe the dam may not be as strong as it used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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