It’s always hard to sleep in large groups, particularly when said large group is primarily full of thruhikers, often up with the sun even when we don’t want to be. Still, there’s something nice about sleeping in good company.
So I’m up and at ’em and there’s lots of folks in line for the ferry boat. Me, I’m in no rush – I’d like to head down to Mono Hot Springs to just check things out. Outro decides to accompany me, and after breakfast and a few stops and starts, we’re off walking down the road. Snooze Button manages to hitch a ride in a truck, and when it comes across us asks the driver if we can hop in the back; we’re in and off at a much greater speed – a speed for which we’re thankful, given the now-apparent length of the walk. We chat the whole way down the hill, are interrupted when we’re told to hop out – we’re here.
The resort is just a store, much better stocked than VVR given how few hikers are there. The gent at the counter tells us there are free hot springs a short walk down the road away. We buy some snacks and meet Prithika on our way out – she’s hanging out with a friend down here, but getting ready to head back up the hill to VVR. Snooze Button, who was gonna hit the hot springs with us, decides he can’t miss the ride, so we ladies venture on alone.
We cross the bridge and find a well-worn trail to tread; we’re looking for one Rob told me about, wandering around wasting time, when we decide on one that’s close by. It proves to be too hot for the already hot day, though, and we find ourselves back near the road in a medium-hot concrete pit of water, opposite some tourists here for a break between moving out of one place and into another. They’re fun, and we chat trail and camping and life until I turn into a prune and we should probably start hitching back towards the trail.
A car comes by, stops for us when I’m trying to rearrange my belongings; we’re about a quarter-mile up when I realize I left my water bottle and Sawyer Mini at our hitching spot. The driver has already shushed us once, as he’s focused on getting his huge Tahoe down the tight, one-lane road, and since there’s nowhere to turn around anyway, it’s a bit of a lost cause. I’m pouty about it, but oh well.
Turns out these guys are going to VVR too, headed down the side trail to meet up with the driver’s son, who’s headed northbound on the JMT. They drop us at the resort and we direct them towards the parking lot, wishing them well on their stretch of trail.
Outro heads down the side trail; I gather my things and go to wait for the ferry. And wait. Aaaand wait. They’re running behind today after all the craziness of the last two days, but eventually myself and a few other hikers are swept away by motorboat, back towards more walking, always more walking.
The side trail back to the PCT goes faster this time, leads, at the junction, to A northbound JMT hiker waiting on his dad and friend. He’s happy to hear that they’re on their way, and that they stopped to give us a ride. So I wait for Outro and he waits for them, and everyone shows up basically at the same time. Outro and I walk off up the trail as the three share a raucous greeting, one that makes me miss folk from back home.
There’s no time to focus on that now, though, because we’ve got some climbing to do. Sure, we’re only trying to make a few miles, but those are preponderantly up.
It’s hard but easy, the day of rest helping, watching Outro be a badass on the switchbacks above me helping too. She waits for me at the top, and we hunt until we find a site that’s to our liking, where there’s water nearby and the mosquitos are tolerable. We talk and set up and eat until late, when it’s beddy-bye time once more.
Start: 878.7 • End: 882.8 • Day: 4.1 + 1.7 from ferry = 5.8
Notable Accomplishments: Hot Springsssss • Got to chill with Outro! • A lazy, wonderful nero