John Muir Trail, 2018, third week, MTR to Reds

We got our food buckets at MTR, and camped at a nearby camping area. Gary and I scored a cabin due to a cancellation, but Nam and Joe were to continue on. The next day Nam and Joe took off, at least one of them heading for Vermilion Valley Ranch. After they had departed Gary and I packed up our stuff, so we could check in at MTR for a day of leisure. In doing so we found that Nam had left his cookset! Gary grabbed it and took off up the trail after them. He checked at MTR, didn’t see them, and headed up toward Selmer Pass. He came back exhausted, not having connected with them to return the pot set.

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We lounged at MTR, washing clothes, eating a chef cooked dinner, and soaking in the crystal clear 105 degree hot springs. The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, coffee, or whatever you wanted. They had a spread where could make a sandwich for lunch, which we did, then we packed up and headed off. We left MTR at 7600’, and headed over 11,000’ Selden Pass, and arrived at the lovely Marie Lake, shown below.

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The sky was pretty dymanic, about the first clouds we had seen on the trip. We left Marie Lake the next day, enjoying the sunshine.

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From Marie Lake at 10,551’, we went down to Bear Creek at about 9000’. From there we ascended the horrific Bear Ridge, which tops out at about 9880’. There was water at several points, and this was the dry season. We dropped down the north side of Bear Ridge, headed toward Quail Meadows at 7900’. This seemed like a 15 mile day, and from the top of Bear Ridge down to Quail Meadows I was pretty wiped out. A few miles from Quail Meadow I started hallucinating, and stopped to eat some food. I stumbled on, and was awfully glad to see Gary ahead. He had found a nice campsite close to the bridge at Quail Meadow.

The next day we would go over Silver Pass at 10,895’, and drop down to Fish Creek at about 9160’. We got to camp and rinsed some clothes in the creek, and ate and rested. As usual, we hiked till Bob was exhausted, then an hour further.

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We camped near the Fish Lake bridge, and the next morning headed up toward Lake Virginia, at 10,040’, stopping there to have a snack. (below)

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We were headed past Purple Lake and Duck Lake, to Deer Creek at 9090’. Where we hoped to find water. Turned out that even in this dry part of the season Deer Creek had plenty of water, and we had a restful few hours of camping in the evening. The next day we headed 5.6 miles to Reds Meadow Resort, for a wonderful hamburger and a shake.