Friday, 13 July 2012
Bishop to Mammoth
Matt's girlfriend, Kerry, joined us in Independence and began hiking at Kearsarg Pass. We have gone 120 miles or so since then and she is doing quite well. When she joined the group I lost my place in the two person tent that Matt bought for the trip. I was without shelter for that 120 miles. I just slept on a Tyvec sheet, my sleeping pad and in my sleeping bag. I now have a poncho that I can tie the hood and use it like a tarp for shelter. It will work as long as the bugs do not get too bad. We had a fun stretch. We stopped at the John Muir Trail Ranch, and it just so happened to provide enough food in order to take a zero day and relax at the hot springs a quarter mile away. When we awoke the next day, the four people I was with all were talking about how food a cold beer would taste. I said I would jog the five miles to Florence Lake to catch the ferry that we thought cost seven dollars each way. Got there. Called the ferry. He came to pick me up and once he was in easy range I began talking to him. It was great to be on a boat the day after the Fourth of July! Turns out it is a dammed lake that they drain in August and September for hydroelectricity and agriculture. The little store there did not sell alcohol. Kept on talking to Dan who drove the ferry. He said after the last ferry run he would take me down to Mono Hot Springs. It was only seven miles, but it took about half an hour. Took a dip in the hot springs, got some beer for everyone, got a warm meal for myself that Dan was so kind to pay for and returned to Florence Lake. Seeing how Dan had already taken the last boat across for this evening, I was staying there. I did not bring my sleeping bag or pad. Dan provided me with both, and I slept well next to a fire just like I had been doing since Kerry joined. Took the first ferry across the next morning. Turns out the ferry trip is $23 round trip. Dan gave me both my rides for free. He was a great guy who had just finished nursing school. Just hanging out for one last summer. He had done the John Muir Trail which runs along the Pacific Crest Trail for most of its 220 miles. I hiked the five miles back to camp and made ear to ear smiles on multiple faces. Cracked the brews. Swam in the "Warm" Lake. Jumped off about a 20 foot cliff. Had some fun. Took a few dips in the hot springs, Blayney Hot Springs. Mingled with three rather Earth Childish ladies from California. All very nice. One was a certified yoga instructor and the four of us did a yoga session by firelight with an ambient night sky above. They were all artists and had some pretty cool sketch books. I was planning to sleep by the fire alone, but they decided to me. Talked for awhile with Carissa before we went to sleep. She had studied abroad in Ghana. We finally made it out of the hot sprigs after three days. A great time with Dumptruck and Murphy! Finished the strut to Reds Meadow where we took the trolly down into Mammoth. Hung out there for a couple nights and enjoyed the local Mammoth Brewery. They had a great Happy Hour! Finally got back to the trail and hiked to a water fall. Going to stay here this evening and get back to doing some miles. I have been talking with New Mexico Tech about the possibility of going back to school to study Mineral Engineering. It would cut my trip short and I would not make it to Canada, so we shall see what comes of it.