Jewel Thief and I met up with our good friend Raindog in the Yosemite Valley. He and his friend Murph are hiking the JMT as a consolation hike, since they didn’t get to hike the PCT this year. We were able to give the full snow report and wish them well as we headed north and they south.
It was noon by the time we got underway, but we made good time with the lighter, Bearcan free packs and the lack of snow. The mosquitoes have arrived in force. During sections they were so thick I had to be careful not to inhale them. Finally fed up, I put on long pants and a headnet, since no amount of DEET seemed to work.
At the end of the day we made it to aptly named Spiller Creek – our biggest ford yet. We were unable to find a log or stones to cross over. I found a spot where the water was 2’ deep and running across solid granite – albeit with some force. On about my 3rd step, my feet were swept out from under me and I went swimming, pack and all. Undaunted, we walked upstream where we found another suitable crossing. This one was slightly deeper, but with slower water. Again I lost it about 2’ out with only a mad vegetation grab saving me from being swept down river. By this time I was shivering and had to change to dry clothes, while we discussed options. We finally found a spot where we tossed a downed tree in and it caught across another log and the bank. Using our new log as a brace, we were able to cross. Shaking uncontrollably, I quickly put on all my dry clothes. We found camping close by and built a fire to thaw and dry out. Hope we don’t have too many more like this!