Total Miles: 891.4
The ride back across the lake was a 15-minute flood of memory. Between the smell of the two-stroke motor and the mirror flat water, it was impossible for my mind not to drift back through a kaleidoscope of childhood memories on our boat. Staring off into the mountains that began to grow larger at the far end of the lake, I felt the pull of gravity on my eyelids as I thought back to the days when I would lie down on the floor of our boat as a boy and fall fast asleep no matter how rough the water. And no boating memory can escape thoughts of my Dad, who was never more himself than he was on the water. I miss him dearly.
Today brings a temporary change of pace. Rather than race the next few days to make it to the Tuolumne Meadows post office by Saturday morning, we've all instead decided to slow down, do fewer miles, take a day off and get to the post office first thing Monday morning. Not only that, but XC and Gazelle are finally back! Having arrived yesterday at VVR, it was great to have them back and to catch up on their experience through the Sierra having generally been no more than a day behind us since Kennedy Meadows.
Gazelle and I spent the day hiking together, crashing through several more rushing fords, climbing over Silver Pass, and trading trail stories of all that we'd missed out on and who we'd each crossed paths with these past two weeks. When we finally called it a day at the shore of Lake Virginia, Proton commented that it's the first time that XC, Gazelle, he and I had camped together in nearly 350 miles. Hard to believe it's been that long, but time has a way of flying by out here. With Dreamcatcher, Sweet Pea and Beardoh, it feels fantastic to have the full gang back together.