Thursday, August 17, 2000


Today is a lazy layover day. Lodgepoles pin this odd place to the earth. I sit at the bar outside the main body of the resort's tiny restaurant. Working its way beneath the skin of the surroundings is the hum of a powerful generator. Dust hangs like a veil, kept aloft by vehicles and dogs. There are several of them here here, and between all the members of the pack, represent a fair number of canine breeds. Becca and Sean have left, gone away in their dusty RAV4, leaving me with a slight pang of loneliness. But in truth, they would have been bored stiff had they stayed. I'm doing laundry. I'm writing. I'm sorting out food, a task made suddenly easier by Mom's decision to drop out of the trek for a week. But also, it'll be more difficult. I've got stuff to rearrange. Mom's been sitting here next to me for a while, chatting about the trail. I'm sure countless occupants of this barstool have done the same.

Sitting at the bar

A well-deserved break

The spread

12:05 PM-Happy birthday, Chase! I am sitting at the VVR bar with Will, sipping a beer. Last night's sleep on the top bunk was fitful because I was nervous about falling off and my face was about 6" from the ceiling. We are now in our own tent cabin #2. Becca and Sean left for home this morning when they realized that we would be spending the bulk of the day doing laundry and repacking. They have things to do at home. As late as this morning, I was seriously considering hiking on. If we took 2 days instead of 1 to do Silver Pass and had no layover at Rush Creek, that would mean 13 straight days of hiking and I'm tired.I have decided to ride home with Sam and Mary, rest up and rejoin Will at Tuolumne. I wish I could go on but I don't have the strength of body or mind at this point to climb 1500' out of this canyon, down to Reds Meadow and back out of there. Next time, I'll have a lighter and better pack and some trail running shoes. Dinner tonight will be a hamburger and pie ala mode! And more wine!
We met Lou. Or Lu. Or Lew (short for Lewellen?) She's a waitress here, and had served us breakfast this morning. She sidled up to the bar (is there any other way to approach a bar?) gave us some water and traded stories with us about through-hiking the JMT. George, Jay and Dave are lined up next to me now. Three guys headed south on the JMT. Jay might remind one of Sean Penn, were one in a dark, foggy room and just had beer thrown in one's face. He's from Boston, but he happens to know an old Isla Vista resident named Jack Beddows. Proof that the world isn't all that big. I happen to know the same guy. Not personally, but he once applied for a job where I work. Emerald Video. Wild. George is here too. He's got a super-kind face, reminding us of a cross between, say, Anthony Edwards and a young Charles Martin Smith. Their buddy George has happily discovered the hiker box, which is laden with food-Oreos, Ritz Bitz, rice, seaweed-everything for the famished hiker available for strategic trade. Mom is now off somewhere with Mary, hiking down by the lake. Mary and her husband Sam are the resupply support team for this leg of the trip. I'm working on my fourth bottle of Anchor Porter. A rich, dark beer that has my head ringing with both pleasure and pain. Clothes in the dryer. Probably done by now. I'm going to see what I can do about folding them.


Mary lakeside

Sunset at Vermilion