7/28/18 – VVR

Day 38

Miles: 886.49 to 878.75

+ 1.4 miles to VVR Ferry Landing

The smoke comes and goes through the night. Sometimes I can see the peaks above the lake. Sometimes like there was nothing there. By the morning the smoke is pushed down to the valley and we have a picture perfect view. I get up early for some photography. The touch of morning sun that would lend the peaks golden glow does not materialize but I still get some very nice compositions.

We take the morning slow. Walking through Silver Pass is an incredible experience. There are tarns and shrubs, occasionally we see a bloom. The flowers are tiny, only inches tall. It’s a stark contrast to the lupine jungle we walked through a week ago.

After Silver Pass there is a long downhill. 6 miles, 3,900 feet. I’m thinking we’ll be at the Vermillion Valley Ferry Landing in no time but I forgot how challenging the trail is here. We have a very short section of smooth path around Silver Lake and then it turns rocky and there are large steps we have to climb down. The descent is not easy going and it’s definitely not fast. We arrive at around noon.

The next ferry arrives at 4:45 pm. The wait feels like one of the long siestas we used to take in the desert last year. Hikers keep coming. Soon there’s more than the ferry claims it can carry. It’s still two hours before pick up. Dave calls VVR to let them know how many hikers are already waiting. It works. A ferry arrives an hour before regular schedule.

At VVR we set up, have some drinks and tri tip dinner, and then spent evening chatting with Kim, Tony, Todd and Gabrielle who are hiking the JMT.

We didn’t need to stop here. We had enough food to finish our stretch. I’m glad we did. We had so many great memories of this place from 4 years ago. And now we have some more.