Vermillion Valley Ranch and the smoke

August 2

Woke up to smoky air in the forest. Okay that is scary. And now there’s a light in the trees. That’s the sun coming up, right? That’s not a fire? Man, this forest is spooky night and day. Pretty sure it’s the sun though. It’s in the east and the smoke’s not really that thick. What does a forest fire look like from the forest? Seems like I glanced at an Outside headline about that subject recently. I’ll have to look for it if I ever get online again. I haven’t had a signal since Kearsarge pass. 

I was mighty relieved to see another hiker on the trail. I left early and trotted on down the trail. The smoke was thick. The view was shrouded in haze. Was I walking into the fire? It seemed completely possible.

I got to the trailhead where some trucks were parked. There was a viewpoint overlooking Lake Edison. The water disappeared into the smoke. Surreal.

I walked for awhile and then an old yellow Chevy pulled over. “I’m headed to the resort if ya wanna hop in the back!” Yelled the white bearded driver, who is maybe Santa in his off-season life. I scrambled in on top of bits of hay and leaned against some saddles. 

The campground at Vermillion was free but noisy. A generator rumbled, a chainsaw roared, and overhead, a helicopter with a dangling water basket flew back and forth. Yesterday’s lightning had ignited some new fires. One was only four miles away. The helicopter was dipping its bucket into Edison Lake.

The store has a fine stock of campy coffee. I need to replace ALL the coffee that I picked up at Muir Ranch. This morning I made a shocking discovery. My new coffee is terrible. It’s all either hazelnut or decaf – abominations! The VVR prices are a little steep. If I have to choose between a 7 minute shower for $7 or satisfactory coffee for the next couple days, I choose coffee. Priorities. I’ll go jump in the lake or something.

2 thoughts on “Vermillion Valley Ranch and the smoke

  1. Too funny about coffee! I love reading the blog. I remember being so excited to find a pound of real cheese in the hiker box at Kennedy Meadows. After eating, my stomach didn’t feel very good and I checked the expiration date, which was 4 months prior. Keep up the good hike and the great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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