BHS 100K

Here is some video and pictures from the 2013 Bishop Ultramarathon. I completed the 100K in 14 hours 22 minutes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

JMT Day 7 - VVR to Bear Ridge

video

Mono Creek west of JMT
Friday , July 6th

I was really tired last night.   I boiled up some cous cous, dried peas and dehydrated tomatoes all together in two tablespoons of ghee for dinner , then promptly there after feel asleep.  I am thankful that I am not bothering with a tent this trip, because setting up and taking that thing down every day gets to be a tedious chore.  For the first time, I slept straight though the night and awoke to the sounds of my chirping birds totally refreshed thinking this is what it feels like to be totally alive – felling that I am getting connected to the Earth again.  
Today I will be making a side trip to the Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR).   The VVR is at the west end of Lake Thomas A. Edison and there is a ferry boat that meets people at the east end to take them across and back for $20.  The other option is to hike the 7 miles around the lake, which I am thinking of doing as a training run.  I feel that I could use the running miles.  Before I go though, I am planning on washing my clothes and hanging them on a line to dry since I will be gone most of the day.  I am camped close to a fast running stream and despite the fact that I can’t see any signs of fish, I go grab my fly rod.  I do this more out of wanting to explore the stream than wanting some fish for breakfast.  However, after an hour of fruitless casting using both a parachute adams and a gold ribbed hare’s ear I call it quits. For the first time this trip, I didn’t even get a bump nor did I see any sign of fish.
Laundry Day
                With the laundry done (I just rinsed my stuff out mostly) and hanging on the line and I get the camp all tidied up as I will be leaving my backpack and most of my things here and run done to the VVR. I will be only carrying only a light shoulder bag with a few essentials.  VVR has a free battery charging station so I am bringing my Trent battery, Cell phone, Garmin.  I also need to bring some clean clothes to change into after the shower and that’s about it.  There is a restaurant over there so I won’t need to carry any food.
                I start running down what I imagine will be a fairly level easy trail as it follows the lake.  Somewhere, somehow I forgot that there is nothing easy around here and even though the trail follows the lake, there is a lot of uphill and downhill due to granite outcroppings that need to be traversed.  While flying down one incline, my feet quickly and gingerly sensing out the terrain of rocks, soil and tree roots, I am suddenly confronted by a towering figure in front of me.  A NFS ranger is sitting up in his saddle leading a pack of mules down the trail.  Thankful that I didn’t startled his horse and mules, I pull aside and allow them to pass.  I push onwards and complete the 7 mile trail run in 80 minutes, a very good clip for me through this difficult terrain between 7,500 and 8,000 feet altitude.
                The VVR can be reached by road from the west and there are quite a few people out here today picnicking and camping.   I excuse myself and interrupt one of these picnicking families and ask them where the store is.  They point me down the hill and toward a road I can see in the distance.  The store carries the typical fair of junk food along with some hiking supplies but no fresh fruit or vegetables – oh, well I wasn’t expecting much.  I buy 4 trail bars they have on sale for a buck each, a few packs of hot chocolate which will be a nice treat in the evenings, a box of raisins I can add to my food and one more fishing lure identical to the one that has been so successful so far, just in case I lose it.  I plug in my devices at the charging station, then pay for and take that much talked about shower.
                After the shower, I head over to the restaurant which has a very friendly feel to it with an outdoor patio and long wooded bar and stools that surround the perimeter.  There are three other hikers sitting at this bar talking with the waitress and I join them.  Two of them were PCT solo hikers, George and Kelly, who were both kicking back taking a day or two off from the trail while the other guy was just out here camping for a few days.  I ordered fish and chips which turned out to be a great choice as they were thick and meaty with a batter that wasn’t too greasy and went really well with my free beer.  George told me me that all hikers get a free beer, so I looked at the waitress thinking he was joking but she replied, “sure, go ahead and grab yourself a beer out of the cooler” in a “yea, that’s right” voice. I’m still not sure if that was one of the resorts policies or I ended up stealing that beer not but I was grateful.
                After lunch, I went back to the store to rent the computer and check email.  I was glad to see that Amy is doing well in Spain and I send her a note telling her that things are going well for me too and I wished she was here.  I haven’t been successful in talking Amy into doing one of these trips with me, but I am going to keep working on it.  I know that once I get you out here dear, you will be just as addicted as me.  It’s 2:00 PM and the ferry leaves at 4:00 PM so I decide to just wait for it since it will take me almost that long to run back.  I might as well experience the ferry too.
East Ferry Landing
                I am back at my campsite by 5:00 PM, and everything appears to be just  the way I left it in the morning.  Contrary to the impression that many people have, the wilderness is one of the safest places to be.  If someone comes across someone else's stuff, they won’t mess with it.  We are all having a hard enough time carrying our own stuff, so how would you carry someone else’s stuff too.  Plus you could really put someone’s life in jeopardy.  There is a true camaraderie among backpackers/campers/hunters and anyone out here in the wilderness and everyone is quick to help out if someone else is in need.  We all know that there could always come a time when anyone of us could become dependent on someone else for his/her survival and there is no shame in admitting it.  As far as wild animals go the only thing that could hurt you up here are rattlesnakes and those are pretty easy to avoid.  Bears really don’t harass hikers as much as they use to since the NFS has started requiring everyone to keep their food locked up in bear resistant canisters.  In fact, I hear that when bears come across these canisters they just leave them alone because they already know it is impossible to get in them so why waste their valuable energy.  Bears just don’t associate people with food that much anymore and as a result you don’t see them around.  I keep hoping, but as of yet, I have never even seen a bear in the Sierras.

Camping on a granite shelf
                That evening I get in some more hiking before dark and find a place to camp up on Bear Ridge (nope, didn’t see a bear up here either.)  It was quite a climb up from 7,800 to almost 10,000 feet but I cover the 6 miles in a little over 2 hours feeling confident now that I do have my mountain legs and lungs.  There are a couple of other guys camping on this ridge as well and we are all rewarded for our day’s hard work with one of these most spectacular vistas and sunset s of the trip.  I am also thankful to these guys for sparing me 6 sheets of toilet paper which I had run out of and neglected to buy at the store – well 6 sheets are a lot better than pine needles.
Sunset from bear Ridge facing north
Sunset from Bear Ridge facing south
video
Experiment with some time lapse video - sunrise at Bear ridge

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