7/31/18 – Muir Trail Ranch

Day 41

Miles: 866.45 to 853.33

Selden Pass is only 350 feet of vertical gain. It’s an easy morning walk and our timing is awesome. We crest just as the sun has risen enough to light some of the peaks. The light is incredible. Mandatory photo stop.

Our goal for today is to pick some more food at Muir Trail Ranch, the very last resupply spot before the High Sierra.

We could have bought more food at Vermillion Valley Resort but scavenging through the hiker boxes is much more fun, and quite frankly they probably offer much more variety than VVR and the food is donated by other hikers (those who overpacked which is pretty much every other JMT hiker) so picking it up means it’s not going to be wasted.

Not much is out there when we arrive but we were fully stocked after just 3 or 4 JMT hikers sort through their buckets. Salami, tortillas, peanut butter, tuna, mashed potato, candy bars, exactly the things we would buy at a store. I decide to be adventurous and take one of the many home made dinners that are in a separate bucket for non commercially packed food. Pad Thai. I’m curious.

The thunder starts at 11:30 a.m. today, much earlier than usually. The sky is still somewhat blue but forecast calls for 60% chance of rain. That’s highest we saw during the trip so far.

The rain starts shortly after we leave MTR. It spits, then stops. Spits and stops. The pattern continues repeating itself. Briefly we consider camping just couple miles out where we camped four years ago. We visit the beautiful juniper tree where we pitched last time, and it’s tempting, but in the end we go for few more miles. It spits and then stops. And then it starts raining.

Five minutes under another juniper tree, the rain gear is back to spitting and we are back on the move. Until the next shower hits us.

Luck is on our side though. When we arrive at camp, we’re the first ones in and have our pick. The side we choose is the most protected one. I don’t know how, there are only two rather small trees guarding it but it’s virtually dry.

Tomorrow I have a feeling there will be a competition for sites. We plan to camp at Evolution Lake, one of the prettiest along the trail, and so do all the people who camp with us and many more we talked to.