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Archive for June 23rd, 2006

Destination: Vermilion Valley Resort
Starting Location: Senger Creek
Today’s Miles: 17.10
Trip Miles: 878.50
Senger Creek (860.1, 9740) to Vermilion Valley Resort (877.2, 7850) ascent (2618) descent (4649)
Today I was scared for the first time during the trip. But the weird part was I was scared after the real danger had passed. When we got to Bear Creek we saw a helpful note from Odie that recommended crossing down stream abut an eighth mile. We followed the advice & I went first. It was touch as I went in a bit high on the crossing but by leaning into the river, using my poles, and crossing side step I did pretty well. Pang who is very strong but with limited wading experience, muscled his way across next. We then debated if Swiss Miss should go with or without pack. The pack adds needed weight but impacts balance significantly. She decided no pack but with boots (she normally wades bare foot). Pang went above her with her pack & I positioned myself below her. This time I was facing up river with my poles behind/beside me for balance & leverage.
Swiss Miss was doing great & making progress when she was lifted off her feet. She did everything right but the current simply overcame her body weight. She drifted the 2 feet right into me & I have no idea how but I was able to get my right arm under her left & thus I was holding a 110 lbs of person, whose legs were dangling, while standing waist deep in fast water. Neither of us panicked as we were now in total adrenaline mode (Sugar daddy says it was an angel that helped either me, Swiss Miss or both of us). I got stabilized with my left pole & was able to move slightly across river while Pang was able to drop down a foot, grab Swiss Miss’s right arm & take some of the water pressure off me. I moved a few more feet & Sugar Daddy was able to come to our aid & help us the final distance. Unlike our typical celebratory hoots & hollers after a success we all were pretty quiet & simply thanked each other & whoever else as appropriate to the individual.
Two hours later we came to a relatively easy crossing & I was overwhelmed with total fear of going into the water. I had to shake my head & arms to clear the sense of dread. Once I entered the water I was fine, but the earlier experience had, unbeknownst to me, shook me deeply.
During our entire Sierra traverse I have been avoiding crossing water on suspended logs. Rather I always take the wet, but feet on firm area under the water, ground. I have been practicing walking on logs for weeks that lye along the trail. So today after seeing Pang skip across a 12’ long log, suspended 6’ off a small but somewhat raging tributary I got on & crossed the log. It was a big confidence booster & Pang gave me some additional coaching on technique. (Take a quick look at feet placement but do not look at the water but rather at the destination. Keep momentum & maintain confidence. The water movement tricks you into thinking the log is moving). I still dislike log crossing but I know I can do it now.
We said temporary good byes to Pang & Swiss Miss as they headed to Mammoth to pick-up Rita & we headed to Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR). We knew we could not make the ferry schedule, did not want to be tied to the return schedule, & thought that $20 was a bit pricey, so we opted to go down the Bear Ridge trail. This will mean about 5 extra miles of hiking but it got us here last night & that meant a shower, good meal & a real bed. I decided that I needed the rest & went ahead and got a room for two nights versus staying in one of the tents. I am so happy to have my own toilet, shower & semi-privacy. We had a nice surprise as my dad arrived early & we had dinner together. Jim, VVR owner, gave us a room with 3 beds so it worked out perfectly. I am clean, I am clean, I am clean? I think I will take another shower.
Destination: Vermilion Valley Resort
Starting Location: Senger Creek
Today’s Miles: 17.10
Trip Miles: 878.50
Senger Creek (860.1, 9740) to Vermilion Valley Resort (877.2, 7850) ascent (2618) descent (4649)
Today I was scared for the first time during the trip. But the weird part was I was scared after the real danger had passed. When we got to Bear Creek we saw a helpful note from Odie that recommended crossing down stream abut an eighth mile. We followed the advice & I went first. It was touch as I went in a bit high on the crossing but by leaning into the river, using my poles, and crossing side step I did pretty well. Pang who is very strong but with limited wading experience, muscled his way across next. We then debated if Swiss Miss should go with or without pack. The pack adds needed weight but impacts balance significantly. She decided no pack but with boots (she normally wades bare foot). Pang went above her with her pack & I positioned myself below her. This time I was facing up river with my poles behind/beside me for balance & leverage.
Swiss Miss was doing great & making progress when she was lifted off her feet. She did everything right but the current simply overcame her body weight. She drifted the 2 feet right into me & I have no idea how but I was able to get my right arm under her left & thus I was holding a 110 lbs of person, whose legs were dangling, while standing waist deep in fast water. Neither of us panicked as we were now in total adrenaline mode (Sugar daddy says it was an angel that helped either me, Swiss Miss or both of us). I got stabilized with my left pole & was able to move slightly across river while Pang was able to drop down a foot, grab Swiss Miss’s right arm & take some of the water pressure off me. I moved a few more feet & Sugar Daddy was able to come to our aid & help us the final distance. Unlike our typical celebratory hoots & hollers after a success we all were pretty quiet & simply thanked each other & whoever else as appropriate to the individual.
Two hours later we came to a relatively easy crossing & I was overwhelmed with total fear of going into the water. I had to shake my head & arms to clear the sense of dread. Once I entered the water I was fine, but the earlier experience had, unbeknownst to me, shook me deeply.
During our entire Sierra traverse I have been avoiding crossing water on suspended logs. Rather I always take the wet, but feet on firm area under the water, ground. I have been practicing walking on logs for weeks that lye along the trail. So today after seeing Pang skip across a 12’ long log, suspended 6’ off a small but somewhat raging tributary I got on & crossed the log. It was a big confidence booster & Pang gave me some additional coaching on technique. (Take a quick look at feet placement but do not look at the water but rather at the destination. Keep momentum & maintain confidence. The water movement tricks you into thinking the log is moving). I still dislike log crossing but I know I can do it now.
We said temporary good byes to Pang & Swiss Miss as they headed to Mammoth to pick-up Rita & we headed to Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR). We knew we could not make the ferry schedule, did not want to be tied to the return schedule, & thought that $20 was a bit pricey, so we opted to go down the Bear Ridge trail. This will mean about 5 extra miles of hiking but it got us here last night & that meant a shower, good meal & a real bed. I decided that I needed the rest & went ahead and got a room for two nights versus staying in one of the tents. I am so happy to have my own toilet, shower & semi-privacy. We had a nice surprise as my dad arrived early & we had dinner together. Jim, VVR owner, gave us a room with 3 beds so it worked out perfectly. I am clean, I am clean, I am clean? I think I will take another shower.
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