After Leaving the Florence Lake marina, we immediately passed a car camping area, and its occupants asked if they could help us in any way. We asked if they had any spare water... and they actually had cases of the stuff. As we began talking, Ed and Randy then offered us oranges, apples, brownies, bags of nuts, and even offered us beef jerky packets.. but alas, we are vegetarians. These warm hearted gentlemen loved our stories of life on the trail so much that they gifted us $60.
Four to five miles later after passing through swarms of mosquitoes, we set up camp in time to experience thunderstorms directly over our heads. Massive booms rang our ears. But we were also happy to know that it was snowing a few thousand feet above us as we enjoyed the drips and drops that lulled us to sleep above our tarp. In the morning we were awakened by hungry mountain chickadee babies that we unknowingly camped next to.
The next morning we arrived at Mono Hot Springs. The establishment and resort of Mono Hot Springs has a cement pool to soak in, but we preferred the wild one's that were located on the south side of the river. The general store here was larger than Florence Lake, but we didn't need to pick up too many groceries. Instead, we ate at the all you can eat salad bar and talked to numerous people interested in our journey. A metal art worker freely offered to give us $25. It apparently pays to be a long distance walker.
Afternoon thunderstorms dumped upon the region as we continued to soak our concerns away. We camped freely west of the wild hot springs along the San Joaquin River. A northern flicker was nesting in a dead snag whose babies seemed to be even asking for food from us.
Another day, and yet another stop at Vermilion Valley Resort. I have hiked the entire PCT twice but have never stopped here before. Apparently, by the looks of it, everybody else does. It definitely has everything a hiker wants and needs.
Apparently, Zoner left that morning and convinced a dozen hikers to take his route over the mountain to Iva Bell Hot Springs. He is a quite the good inspirational speaker.
We ended up playing leap frog on the trail with several of them.
And it definitely was a game of hide and seek to actually find the springs that were littered on a hill over a very large area.
Since many of the PCT hikers didn't have maps to find this location, we ended up running into three different hikers who had inadvertently passed up the trail junction to the springs.
Luckily they only had to backtrack a quarter mile or so.
With our pores still opened fully, we continued onward into the night under a full moon to absorb its glow.
(Iva Bell Hot Springs)
(Iva Bell Hot Springs)
We didn't even have to use our headlamps under the light of millions of stars up high in the night sky.
The next morning we arrived at Devils Postpile National Monument and enjoyed this early mornings quietude at Rainbow Falls.
It was a cool seven in the morning when we arrived at the Red's Meadow Hot Springs Tank which apparently used to feed into individualized soaking rooms. This water was hot.... really hot.
From Red's Meadow we took trails and roads all the way into the Town of Mammoth Lakes. It was now June 15th and we were surprised to see hundreds of people skiing in these mountains. This was the end of our High Sierra's Journey. We were to spend two nights in Mammoth Lakes before engaging in the Inyo Crossing, ultimately leading us into the desert state of Nevada.