Something is wrong with this app and every time I write and save this post, it gets erased. This is the third time I’m writing this so it will be brief.
I left Merkel and Horizon and set off to find some hot springs that are just off the trail. First, I had to ford Evolution Creek which can be difficult but was only knee deep. But it was cold!! By the time I got to the other side, I felt like I had blocks of wood attached to my legs instead of feet. It took hours to feel my toes again.
Dropping into lower elevations means less snow but more water. Sometimes the trail and a river are indistinguishable.
I tried to find the hot springs by crossing a river on some logs then following a trail and cairns.
After searching for awhile I gave up and returned to the trail where I climbed a huge ridge and camped in the snow.
I went over several 11,000′ passes by myself which were easy by comparison to the other ones.
I got a lot of practice crossing rivers on narrow logs.
One day I stopped into Vermilion valley resort on Lake Edison, just to dry out my stuff and have a hot meal. The lake is extremely low.
I wished I was done with the snow but it wasn’t done with me. I still had several passes and lots of creek crossings.
A few days after VVR, I stopped into Red’s meadow just to see if they were open.
I had lunch at the restaurant where I chatted with a lovely couple about the trail. At the end of the meal, they bought me lunch, which was very sweet. I have met some of the most generous people on this journey.
The alpine lakes here are amazing and words can’t describe their beauty.
I saw a lot of JMT hikers in just a few days and it made me wish for more solitude.
I went over Donahue pass and entered Yosemite national park then walked down hill for 14 miles to Tuolumne Meadows.