Last night was the best camp site I've had. The raging river rocked me to sleep and I slept good. I did have a weird moment in the middle of then night where I woke up and saw my tent was about to collapse on me from the wind. I quickly got out of my bag and went outside to re-pitch, only to find that my tent wasn't falling over at all. I must have hallucinated or something. It was weird. I peed and went back to sleep. Righteous woke me up the next morning and told me to get going.
Big Daddy (heroin eyes), Righteous and I hiked an easy 6 miles off the PCT and took the alternate to Florence lake: a SoCal Edison owned lake with a little tiny resort on the north end. On the way down we ran into a couple who were JMT hikers that decided to bail because of the snow. They offered to give us a hitch to VVR when we got to the parking lot on the north end of the lake. We hiked a lot faster than they did. The trail took us to the south end near a boat dock. We were hoping to catch a ferry across the lake to shave miles but it looked abandoned, like no one had been there since last season. Big Daddy and I dropped our packs to hike down to the shore and investigate. We couldn't find a soul. Just a boarded up shack and some old trucks. At the dock there was a boat parked. Big Daddy found a phone attached to the dock. He picked it up and another person picked up the other end. It was the John Muir Ranch staff. They said they would send a boat to come get us. What luck we have sometimes. We ran back up the hill to the trailhead to grab our packs and notify Righteous of our plans.
We scrambled down the hill with our heavy packs. I could see a lonesome boat coming across the lake to get us. I was worried they would show up at the dock and not see us so I started yelling "wait!". We got the dock and a woman was the boat angel. She gave us a free ride across the lake.
We waited on that couple to show up at their car but after a couple hours I spoke with some older dudes who were camping in the area and were down to give us a 14 mile hitch to VVR. The main dude was named Bruce. He's a college professor of political science at UCSB. His two buddies were in their 70's and they all seemed super cool. They piled the 3 of us in their truck and off we went up a shitty and beat up single lane road to VVR. They gave us shots of tequila and beer.
At VVR we found a couple dozen other hikers hanging out readying for the next stretch. Most are going to Yosemite. I immediately bought beer and cigarettes and had a delicious steak dinner. I was able to get a $4 2 minute phone call to Jessica to let her know my ETA in Mammoth. I also picked up my package of food far better than the crap I've been surviving on. The best part of the day was a hot shower which I needed badly. I spent the rest of the evening drinking beers at the campfire and shooting the shit. Chill day for sure.