But though these guys will never stop in a town for more than 5 hours (and Rose and I just stopped in Bishop for 5 days to get her shoes back after we left them in a car of a friend) we are all out here for the love of the trail. And whether you walk it at 1 mph or 4, we are all bonded together by a common experience no matter how different we are off the trail!So, Scott and Tattoo Joe walked off and I'm sure that we'll never see them again on this trail this year. But it was cool that they stopped to talk and even recognized Rose ad I as the honeymooners. With that, Rose and I took off and climbed 1,000 feet in the hot sun as we gazed down on the pristine lakes below. We walked 16 miles that day in the footprints of Scott and Joe and made pretty good time (though we never caught those guys!) We ended the day walking down a gentle ridge covered in the shade of giant fir trees. That ridge was particularly cool because it was an old-growth forest that felt like the magical Ewok village of Star Wars! As we descended into a burn below us, I half expected to see a storm trooper ripping by on one of those hovering galatic speeder bikes. But I never saw one, or anything at all related to George Lucas, for that matter.Once down the hill, Rose and I spread our tent in the midst of an old forest burn that had been overgrown with underbrush and bright purple lupines. The hill was gorgeous as the pillars of burnt and broken wood stood tall against a bright blue sky with puffy clouds and the knobs of iron-red mountains in the background. We camped just 1 mile before Red's Meadow, a pack station that served tourists and fishermen wanting to make wilderness trips on horseback. We walked by several stables of beautiful brown horses, took a picture in an old horse carriage and jumped on the bus that took us down to Mammoth Lodge. This Lodge was home to the premier ski resort and many chalets and Condos that housed millions of eager Los Angeles families during a winter for their skiing and vacation pleasure. We caught a bus down to thetown and celebrated the 4th of July. Through a series of meeting some folks in town, we ended up getting invited to a bluegrass concert and barbeque. So, we found ourselves at the top of McGee Creek watching fireworks with some kind strangers while listening to live bluegrass music. We found a ride down that night with some people we met at the party and stayed a a local campground. The next day we got yo go out to a few local restaurants and even a Saturday night church service with some folks we met in town named April and Renn. After a great stay in town we are off to Yosemite National Park and to see Devil's Postpile. We expect that we'll be in South Lake Tahoe in 2 weeks. That will put us at mile 1094 giving us about 1,500 miles left in the trail! Thanks everybody for all your support, prayers, and special mail drops! Those are always a nice surprise when we get to town!
We'll keep you updated as we get to Tuolomne Meadows and Tahoe!
We love you and miss you lots!
Ben & Rosie