7/25 Ruby Lake to Red’s Meadow
Ruby Lake was a beautiful camp site. Kevin has this app on his phone that shows all the good established sites. It was up on a rocky bluff overlooking the small emerald colored Ruby Lake. I guess they call it Ruby as there are red colored cliffs rising out of the far side. We had a good, and large breakfast, and managed to pack up and be on our way by 8:30. That might be the earliest we’ve broken camp thus far. We then passed Garnet lake which looked surprisingly a lot like Thousand Island lake. Long lake butting up to a base of a mountain dotted with tiny islands. I’ve spied those Mount Ritter on the edge of our Yosemite map many times and always marveled at how long it would take to get there. And yesterday I managed to walk right on past them.
Between every lake was a small pass. I’ve learned to really pace myself going up and over to not make my heart race. The scenery, rocks, trees, even the chipmunks change with every mile. From Garnet lake we dropped down over 1,000 feet to Shadow Creek Bride. We took a long lunch and rehydrated a meal. We had planned to eat two rehydrated meals for dinner but found it too much food so we are now splitting them up to make one hot meal for lunch. It was so good! Unstuffed bell peppers. For the most part our dehydrated meals are really great. I’ve been adding more salt to my food to try and avoid leg cramps. Eating a big lunch really helped our mood and we pushed over on over a couple more climbs, past lakes Rosalie, Gladys, and Trinity. Then, checking Kevin’s watch we realized we could make it all the way down to Red’s Meadow that night if we pushed really hard. Yesterday night Red’s Meadow seemed another day away but at 3:30 we figured we only had 5.5 more miles to go of mostly down so we decided to push for it. All the way down we were dreaming up ideas of sleeping in a bed in Mammoth Lakes, taking a shower, and a never ending french toast buffet. Those thoughts powered me over the 5.5 DUSTY miles. My god it was dusty. We ran out of water mid way down the grade. Did I mention the dust? I could scrap it off my legs in chunks. Well we made it to Red’s by 7:20, just in time to see the last shuttle to Mammoth pull up to the visitor shot. We were elated and a little in disbelief. We bought tickets for the shuttle and got on. I started calling hotels in Mammoth Lakes only to quickly find that the entire town was sold out. We had forgotten it was a Saturday and Mammoth is a popular vacation town. Goodbye dreams of a real bed. Goodbye dreams of never ending french toast buffet. So now we are camped in the noisy backpackers site next to diesel generators and power stroke giant trucks. Oh well. At least we get a camp shower tomorrow. We may go into town and rest up a bit and buy a new cook pot.
We are officially 1/4 done with the trail. Every day is a long adventure with big highs and lows, in elevation and emotions.