I finally managed to escape the vortex of VVR. While many hikers complain this is their most expensive stop, it was one of my cheapest. Jewel Thief and I paid for our meals and lodging by working. Our jobs included splitting and stacking firewood, hauling yard waste to a burn pile, and working in the kitchen. It felt a lot like summer camp and I enjoyed working with my hands.
But all good things must end and Jewel Thief and I hiked the 6 miles back to the trail after a late breakfast. We had 2 somewhat daunting stream crossings on Mano Creek. The trail began to climb up towards Silver Pass. Soon we were heading for a waterfall. Over my shoulder I heard Jewel Thief say, “Switchback! Switchback!” But the trail headed right across the falls in a fury of boiling water and spray. Gripping boulders on the side, we gingerly make our way across getting soaked in the process.
The rest of the day was spent trudging through yet more snow. Silver Pass turned out to be pretty plain looking. As we got farther north the snow line seemed to be getting lower. Only the last mile of the day was snow free. We camped at the top of beautiful meadows and built a fire. Tomorrow we would be headed to Red’s Meadow and Mammoth Lakes for a full re-supply since VVR’s store was rather meager.