The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Day 29

Mile 878.8 to Mile 893.5
Friday 29 June (0930-1800)
Distance: PCT: 14.7; non-PCT: 1.5
Number of blow-down obstacles requiring clambering, diversion or both: 19

Bastards! Malicious little bastards! Thank goodness that this is a
low-mosquito year, because the little bastards are driving us mad
enough as it is. We're sporting quite a collection of bites.

The VVR side of Lake Thomas Edison was pretty well mossie free, but
within paces of stepping off the ferry we were doing the mossie dance

Today they were just about manageable as long as we kept moving. And,
as the ferry had dictated a far later start than is our custom, we had
another reason to keep moving. We must have achieved one of our lowest
faff-per-mile rates and save for a few snack breaks and one aqua-faff
(when we both ran out of water simultaneously) we just kept plodding

I can't claim that we marched today as so much of it was uphill. 3200'
up from the ferry, then another 1200' later on. Fortunately energy was
high after all the good food we ate at VVR (huge breakfasts featured
before the ferry this morning and last night's dinner was far and away
the best meal I've had this trip).

At the start of the steep bit of the second climb, a huge bang was
heard. With the hills hereabouts being crumbling granite, we assume
that it was a big lump of rock giving way, over in the next valley.

Not long afterwards we came to evidence of a previous huge
landslip/rock fall. Not far away from the path was a massive
rubble/boulder heap that looked like it had been put there by an
over-sized dumper truck, but it was evident from the hillside opposite
that at somepoint half of the hill had fallen away. Bet that one made
one heck of a noise when it went - not to mention some significant

We didn't have much further to go after that. Having decided that
there was little value in walking all the way to the Duck Lake trail
today (we would have arrived late and we're not going to get into
Mammoth until tomorrow anyway), we thought we'd find a pitch somewhere
by Purple Lake (which isn't noticeably purple).

Blow-downs have been an inconvenient feature of the day, and there are
plenty around the lake too, which made finding a pitch more tricky. We
settled for something in the end, as we didn't really want to walk
another 2 miles (which is where the map suggests the next campable
land is to be found). It's surprising that there are no obvious
used-before pitches here, considering that there are now 7 other
people staying here tonight.

The group that arrived after us (who kept half of VVR awake last night
as they made their way through a case of beer by the campfire until
well past midnight) have not only created themselves some pitches, but
have also built a fire-ring about 20 yards away from our pitch. Call
me grumpy, but as we were here first, and as they've built it so
close, it would have been nice if they'd asked if we minded!

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