Central California

Kennedy Meadows to Vermillion Valley

June 24 / 8 miles / Silver Pass

Slept in until 8am. A huge breakfast, the PCT Hikers’ special, followed by a two hour nap. Another ten hikers showed up on the morning ferry. Lunch and then a second lunch. Tragically, they ran out of Boysenbery pie – fresh pie would not be ready until after we had planned to leave. Left Vermillion on the afternoon ferry (4pm) and, with full bellies, slowly climbed the 3000 ft up from Mono Crek to Silver Pass Beautiful sunset from our camp atop Silver Pass (10,900 ft) – Banner Peak, Mt. Ritter, and the Minarets silouetted against a yellow sky. Mars is visible in the southern sky and a sliver of moon floats overhead.

June 25 / 23.1 miles / Mammoth Lakes

Cold night atop Silver Pass – frost on my sleeping bag and a little ice in the water bottle. The carrot today is a bakery in Mammoth Lakes called Schat’s – one of the best, if not the best bakery, I’ve ever been. Two summers ago while hiking the PCT with my girlfriend Whitney I got stuck in Mammoth for four days simply because I could not leave the table at Schat’s. Moved quickly today, stopping only briefly for water or a snack. Visions of giant cinammon rolls carried me up above Tully Hole and past sprawling Lake Virginia and Purple Lake. I left John Muir Wilderness and briefly entered Ansel Adams Wilderness, passing a surprising number of bubbling springs along the way. Arrived at Reds Meadow Resort and Pack Station shortly after 3pm and, pausing only to pick up a lemonade in the small store, caught the next shuttle into Mammoth Lakes. We squeezed through the doors at the post office a moment before closing. I had mailed a drift box to Mammoth and was looking forward to wearing a clean set of clothes while in town. Alas, no luck and no box – as in Lone Pine I’ve apparently arrived before my box. Gotta slow down or something. Motel, shower, pizza, bed…. After a long stretch through the Sierra these things feel and taste especially good!