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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

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  • shawn peterson
    I ve been to VVR many times old and new.  I have had nothing but good experiences there and will continue to go. This guys sounds like a baby who didn t get
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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      I've been to VVR many times old and new.  I have had nothing but good experiences there and will continue to go.

      This guys sounds like a baby who didn't get what he had built up in his mind was owed to him.  His threats, language, manners, referrals to other races as "JAP" and "the black cook" speak volumes to me about his mental capacity.  Lumping all those other feigned "hikers opinions" to be truth and fuel for his diatribe is a weak minded attempt at manipulating the interaction as well.  In one article he states he ALWAYS walks into VVR and in his spittle laden retort he makes it sound like he HAD to walk in because the lake was dry.  LMAO like that is supposed to be the fault of the VVR folks....he says when he comes to VVR he comes to spend money....yet his first time there he came with nothing. 

      Internet reviewers are like food critics......

      --- On Thu, 6/13/13, Chris <ccoronella@...> wrote:

      From: Chris <ccoronella@...>
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 1:50 PM

       

      I have no personal experience at VVR, but my thoughts are, why stop there?

      If you are South Bound, Red's Meadow is only a couple days before, and MTR is only a few days after, and a stop at MTR is probably needed to resupply until the end (or go to Bishop?!?). You have to schedule a day around it, while the other places are more accessible. I hit MTR last time through, and while pretty basic, it was super user friendly (though no cold beer which would of been NICE). I think a shower and laundry are unneeded. Rinse in a stream - you're going to be dirty the next day anyway.

      I suspect you'd be fine by stopping there - even under the worst conditions reviewed by your link, a hot meal was still available and so was laundry (though not without hassle).

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" <ptoddf@...> wrote:
      >
      > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal here:
      >
      > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply
      >
      > With response:
      >
      > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
      >
      >
      > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply -- which would ruin my whole summer.
      >
      > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
      >
      > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
      >

    • LEBRUN
      Same here!! 3 times last four years -- great experience, food was great, showers and laundry worked -- would stay again!! Bruce
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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        Same here!! 3 times last four years --  great experience, food was great, showers and laundry worked  -- would stay again!!

        Bruce


        On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
         

        Wow, that review is amazing and totally contrary to my experiences.  I have been there twice and outside of Olive had only excellent interactions.  Washers worked, showers worked and even the ferry was running (sort of) both times and the food and pies were great and the beer and the company, both backpackers and VVR people.  Jim went out of his way to get me and others hooked up with oddball rides.  I must say I am glad to see Olive seeking other career opportunities but that was a minor irritation.  I certainly will be back next year.

        Joe

         

        From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of cjoslyn99
        Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:05 PM
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

         

         


        I think what was described was probably an isolated incident and a clash
        with the author's personal sensibilities. I stopped there in 2011
        (actually to exit w/ a twisted ankle and they took great care of me) and
        2012 (finally finishing the JMT) and would have no qualms going there
        again. I wouldn't send a resupply there - as being unnecessary - but
        pick up what I needed, have some fabulous food and drink, shower, do
        laundry, camp and be on my way.

        No way is it a rip-off. Given where VVR is situated and the level of
        services they DO provide to backpackers (where one shouldn't expect to
        get anything), the costs are right in line. Not sure why there was a
        perception that somehow backpackers are unwelcome. In contrast to MTR,
        VVR goes out of its way to make comforts available to backpackers
        (bathrooms, shower, laundry, phone, their store and restaurants). MTR
        is a little more challenged in terms of being able to procure
        food/supplies etc. to non-guests, so I don't begrudge them that, but I
        felt less welcome at MTR than VVR (they won't even let you use their
        bathrooms). At VVR you are a guest regardless.

        Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character and will
        verablly spar w/ backpackers who want to participate, but she was always
        nice to me.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" wrote:
        >
        > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports
        reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing
        (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal
        here:
        >
        >
        http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-res\
        upply

        >
        > With response:
        >
        > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
        >
        >
        > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply --
        which would ruin my whole summer.
        >
        > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A
        quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
        >
        > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their
        late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
        >


      • Larry Beck
        Korina, Can also you tell us how you got the trail name Guppy ? Is this new or has it been your trail name for a long time?   Larry
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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          Korina,

          Can also you tell us how you got the trail name "Guppy"? Is this new or has it been your trail name for a long time?
           
          Larry

          From: Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:40 PM
          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

           
          Korina, can you post a journal report about your hike indicating how the streams and passes were, how bad bugs were (where), etc.  Lots here would be interested.  Indicate when you were where too.  How many days did you take?
          -------------------------------------------------
          Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
          _



          On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM, k2poohtri <k2pooh15@...> wrote:
           
          I just finished the JMT and had a resupply at VVR. They are the BEST!!!! They are very organized with the resupply. They are VERY hiker friendly, unlike MTR, and if the ferry isn't running for both AM and PM, then just walk. There are signs at both the north and south junctions telling the hikers what's going on. When I was there, June 4th, only the 9:45am ferry was running. I adjusted my schedule accordingly.

          I highly recommend going to VVR. Make sure you have some of their AMAZING pie. :-))

          Korina "Guppy"


          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" <ptoddf@...> wrote:
          >
          > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal here:
          >
          > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply
          >
          > With response:
          >
          > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
          >
          >
          > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply -- which would ruin my whole summer.
          >
          > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
          >
          > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
          >




        • zoey_leb
          Both VVR and MTR are classic stops and I wouldn t miss either if I had the time, but VVR is the place that is hiker friendly. Come on, MMT Ranch practically
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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            Both VVR and MTR are classic stops and I wouldn't miss either if I had the time, but VVR is the place that is hiker friendly. Come on, MMT Ranch practically keeps you fenced out unless you're a paying guest. (Which, by the way, is well worth springing for!) Olive was hilarious, great entertainment and will be missed.

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" <ptoddf@...> wrote:
            >
            > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal here:
            >
            > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply
            >
            > With response:
            >
            > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
            >
            >
            > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply -- which would ruin my whole summer.
            >
            > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
            >
            > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
            >
          • Bill Heiser
            It seems like these VVR complaint reports cycle around periodically. All I can say is that although I ve only been there once, it was an excellent experience.
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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              It seems like these VVR complaint reports cycle around periodically.  All I can say is that although I've only been there once, it was an excellent experience.  I hiked out from the Mono Creek junction (the ferry wasn't running due to exceptionally low lake level) to pick up a re-supply and eat lunch, shower, and do laundry.  The lunch was so good that I couldn't tear myself away, and stayed for dinner, requiring me to hike out mostly after dark back to my campsite.  It was totally worth it.  They attended to my every need and they have an amazing stock of every little thing I needed.

              Granted, it was an expensive day (something under $100 for lunch, dinner, laundry, shower, and wi-fi), but as someone else mentioned, given where its located, one can't expect bargain basement prices.  It's gotta cost a fortune to do what they do out there.

              I enjoyed it so much that I've given some thought to planning a trip specifically to enable me to stop in there like that again, either for a resupply/meals or even to camp overnight to get breakfast too :).

              I also stopped at MTR for a resupply, and that worked out fine too.  They were polite and very efficient with their bar-coded supply containers.  They also had some things I didn't expect (but needed) in their store (like Dirty Girl gaiters to replace my failing gaiters of another brand).   They also have a place to plug in to charge electronics.  Just plan ahead because you need to leave promptly at closing time, and there isn't any access to rest rooms (there must be lots of cat-holes just outside their property :).  I bet if they offered rest rooms and meals, they'd do a booming business, but I understand there are infrastructure limitations way out there that make it impractical (or maybe even impossible).  I was really impressed by their super organized bucket system for collecting hiker leftovers.

              They're both great but each is a different experience.  VVR is a full-service stop on a (remote) road.  MTR is practically in the wilderness without any public road access.  I'm glad I experienced both and look forward to both again.




              LEBRUN wrote:
               
              Same here!! 3 times last four years --  great experience, food was great, showers and laundry worked  -- would stay again!!

              Bruce


              On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
               

              Wow, that review is amazing and totally contrary to my experiences.  I have been there twice and outside of Olive had only excellent interactions.  Washers worked, showers worked and even the ferry was running (sort of) both times and the food and pies were great and the beer and the company, both backpackers and VVR people.  Jim went out of his way to get me and others hooked up with oddball rides.  I must say I am glad to see Olive seeking other career opportunities but that was a minor irritation.  I certainly will be back next year.

              Joe

               

              From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of cjoslyn99
              Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:05 PM
              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

               

               


              I think what was described was probably an isolated incident and a clash
              with the author's personal sensibilities. I stopped there in 2011
              (actually to exit w/ a twisted ankle and they took great care of me) and
              2012 (finally finishing the JMT) and would have no qualms going there
              again. I wouldn't send a resupply there - as being unnecessary - but
              pick up what I needed, have some fabulous food and drink, shower, do
              laundry, camp and be on my way.

              No way is it a rip-off. Given where VVR is situated and the level of
              services they DO provide to backpackers (where one shouldn't expect to
              get anything), the costs are right in line. Not sure why there was a
              perception that somehow backpackers are unwelcome. In contrast to MTR,
              VVR goes out of its way to make comforts available to backpackers
              (bathrooms, shower, laundry, phone, their store and restaurants). MTR
              is a little more challenged in terms of being able to procure
              food/supplies etc. to non-guests, so I don't begrudge them that, but I
              felt less welcome at MTR than VVR (they won't even let you use their
              bathrooms). At VVR you are a guest regardless.

              Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character and will
              verablly spar w/ backpackers who want to participate, but she was always
              nice to me.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" wrote:
              >
              > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports
              reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing
              (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal
              here:
              >
              >
              http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-res\
              upply

              >
              > With response:
              >
              > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
              >
              >
              > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply --
              which would ruin my whole summer.
              >
              > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A
              quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
              >
              > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their
              late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
              >


            • bodnar1234
              I ve stayed at the VVR in 97, 04, 10 and 12. So I have seen the place change. If you think that the place is a Resort you will be disappointed. I think it
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 13, 2013
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                I've stayed at the VVR in 97, 04, 10 and 12. So I have seen the place change.

                If you think that the place is a Resort you will be disappointed. I think it would be more accurately described as a series of buildings and trailers dispersed around a campground near the shore of Lake Edison. If you think of it that way you shouldn't be too disappointed.

                This is what I observed;

                1: VVR has used a TAB system. If you are staying there they like to open up a tab so you are billed all at one time at the end of your visit. If you are the type that doesn't keep track of your spending this can be a very dangerous system. It is typical to see hikers spend over $200 a day on food and beer. My recommendation, write down the amount you spend on each purchase and keep a running total yourself. This way it isn't a surprise when they add up your bill at the end. Plus this is a great way to catch a billing error.

                2: Showers get cold. Why...One time I waited about 30 minutes for a person to get out of the shower. I assume he wanted to get his monies worth. Showers are expensive $5-6.... This left me and others with a cold shower. I'm sure a larger hot water heater would help but excessive use contributes to the cold water problem.

                3: Free drink for JMT and PCT hikers, that is always nice... thanks VVR.

                4: The Bath House has been under construction or planning phase for about a decade, maybe more. It is a running joke now among hikers... every year they seem to say next year. It will be a nice addition if and when it is up and running.

                5: Service. I have experienced both bad and good service. It depends on the person. In general I would say the people are really nice.

                6: Food. I have had some really good food and some mediocre food. You will have to ask around who is cooking... if you get stuck with a mediocre chef I recommend ordering something more simple from the menu. But keep in mind they changed the menu to exclude lunch items from the dinner menu. So I was unable to order a hamburger for dinner. This is a bit annoying.

                7: Supply Pick Up. I only used this service one time in 97' The cost now is a bit high for my taste. I simply load up at the restaurant and buy some additional snacks to make it to Red's Meadow where I repeat the process until Tuolumne Meadows where I pick up a package for no fee at the Post Office. This works really well for a Northbound hike. I haven't hiked Southbound yet....but it sounds like Muir Ranch or Kearsarge Pass would be more logical for a southbound hike.


                I hope my comments paint a better picture of VVR.

                Paul (Tangent)







                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, LEBRUN <bnslebrun@...> wrote:
                >
                > Same here!! 3 times last four years -- great experience, food was great,
                > showers and laundry worked -- would stay again!!
                >
                > Bruce
                >
                >
                > On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > Wow, that review is amazing and totally contrary to my experiences. I
                > > have been there twice and outside of Olive had only excellent
                > > interactions. Washers worked, showers worked and even the ferry was
                > > running (sort of) both times and the food and pies were great and the beer
                > > and the company, both backpackers and VVR people. Jim went out of his way
                > > to get me and others hooked up with oddball rides. I must say I am glad to
                > > see Olive seeking other career opportunities but that was a minor
                > > irritation. I certainly will be back next year.****
                > >
                > > Joe****
                > >
                > > ** **
                > >
                > > *From:* johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:
                > > johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *cjoslyn99
                > > *Sent:* Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:05 PM
                > > *To:* johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                > > *Subject:* [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS****
                > >
                > > ** **
                > >
                > > ****
                > >
                > >
                > > I think what was described was probably an isolated incident and a clash
                > > with the author's personal sensibilities. I stopped there in 2011
                > > (actually to exit w/ a twisted ankle and they took great care of me) and
                > > 2012 (finally finishing the JMT) and would have no qualms going there
                > > again. I wouldn't send a resupply there - as being unnecessary - but
                > > pick up what I needed, have some fabulous food and drink, shower, do
                > > laundry, camp and be on my way.
                > >
                > > No way is it a rip-off. Given where VVR is situated and the level of
                > > services they DO provide to backpackers (where one shouldn't expect to
                > > get anything), the costs are right in line. Not sure why there was a
                > > perception that somehow backpackers are unwelcome. In contrast to MTR,
                > > VVR goes out of its way to make comforts available to backpackers
                > > (bathrooms, shower, laundry, phone, their store and restaurants). MTR
                > > is a little more challenged in terms of being able to procure
                > > food/supplies etc. to non-guests, so I don't begrudge them that, but I
                > > felt less welcome at MTR than VVR (they won't even let you use their
                > > bathrooms). At VVR you are a guest regardless.
                > >
                > > Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character and will
                > > verablly spar w/ backpackers who want to participate, but she was always
                > > nice to me.
                > >
                > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports
                > > reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing
                > > (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal
                > > here:
                > > >
                > > >
                > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-res\
                > > upply<http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply>
                > > >
                > > > With response:
                > > >
                > > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply --
                > > which would ruin my whole summer.
                > > >
                > > > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A
                > > quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
                > > >
                > > > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their
                > > late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
                > > >****
                > >
                > > ****
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • robert shattuck
                Olive is (or was...didn t know she won t be back) a character . . . Olive was annoying and dumb enough or just didn t give a damn to turn off her attitude.
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                  "Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character . . ."

                  Olive was annoying and dumb enough or just didn't give a damn to turn off her attitude. It wasn't, funny, charming, endearing or anything.

                  Aside from just being like everybody else here and being able to either go with the flow---olive's own take on how to be charming--- or not, I found her to be an utterly annoying bore with no sense of timing and certainly no idea when to shut up.

                  I also work in the industry and doubt she would last five minutes --- she just was not charming and considering that she lasted two-three seasons, that reflects poorly on Jim, in my book.

                  In my twelve JMT's I have also worked at the VVR two seasons and got to know butch & Peggy fairly well----the place is a little bit different now, but still worth the money, the walk in ( with a low lake ) and the memories.

                  Bob
                  Whatwouldjohnmuirdo.wordpress.com
                • krishna9012
                  I wat at VVR in 2011 and 2012 JMT hikes. 2011 I had to bail out as I became sick and Jim, the owner was very kind, advised me to rent a car in Fresno on his
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                    I wat at VVR in 2011 and 2012 JMT hikes. 2011 I had to bail out as I became sick and Jim, the owner was very kind, advised me to rent a car in Fresno on his PC, gave me a ride to Fresno next day in his truck and dropped me off at the Fresno airport. I told the VVR waitress that I am vegetarian and had excellent meals both days.

                    In 2012, I called Jim from LA asking for a ride from Fresno to VVR to start my hike from VVR to Onion V. He said that he will send some one to the Train station in a white truck. The moment I got down in Fresno with my back pack, the driver in the white truck came smiling and took the pack, stopped at Prather for my permit and everything else was really smooth. I had to walk an extra mile as the lake waters were low and that night I camped at Mono ck bridge.

                    Both times it was a memorable experience at VVR. So no issues here and highly recommend the place for a mid JMT break. Due to remote location and maintenance of the resort, the prices are what you expect. In my opinion its much cheaper than LA or Chicago!

                    My 2c

                    Krishna aka "ambleon"
                    (a piano teacher from Seattle who was hiking with us, called me "ambleon" as I always started early in the day walking slowly and they all caught up by mid morning and over took me)

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The Blaney Meadows Hot Spring is not theirs (MTR) but it is free to use.
                    > You have to cross a river, Bob Shattuck and others have done this, I
                    > haven't.
                    >
                    > I stay at MTR and they have their own super nice hot springs, but you can
                    > only use them if you have booked to stay overnight.
                    > -------------------------------------------------
                    > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
                    > links)<https://plus.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
                    > _
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM, ptoddf <ptoddf@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > **
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports reached my
                    > > ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing (and current)
                    > > report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal here:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply
                    > >
                    > > With response:
                    > >
                    > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
                    > >
                    > > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply -- which
                    > > would ruin my whole summer.
                    > >
                    > > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A quick
                    > > stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
                    > >
                    > > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their late
                    > > morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Viraj Ward
                    We used VVR for our zero day in 2011, and the only complaint that I had was that they lost our resupply bucket. Someone from the resort signed for it, so we
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                      We used VVR for our zero day in 2011, and the only complaint that I had was that they lost our resupply bucket.
                      Someone from the resort signed for it, so we know it was definitely picked up by an employee. They claimed that a bear must of taken it!
                      Anyway, the owner let us shop and use what we could from the store to piece together the food needed for our next leg (there wasn't anything in the hiker's bucket that year).
                      We never insured the bucket so we our out the cost of the supplies.
                       
                      Viraj

                      From: bodnar1234 <paulbodnar@...>
                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:43 PM
                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS
                       
                      I've stayed at the VVR in 97, 04, 10 and 12. So I have seen the place change.

                      If you think that the place is a Resort you will be disappointed. I think it would be more accurately described as a series of buildings and trailers dispersed around a campground near the shore of Lake Edison. If you think of it that way you shouldn't be too disappointed.

                      This is what I observed;

                      1: VVR has used a TAB system. If you are staying there they like to open up a tab so you are billed all at one time at the end of your visit. If you are the type that doesn't keep track of your spending this can be a very dangerous system. It is typical to see hikers spend over $200 a day on food and beer. My recommendation, write down the amount you spend on each purchase and keep a running total yourself. This way it isn't a surprise when they add up your bill at the end. Plus this is a great way to catch a billing error.

                      2: Showers get cold. Why...One time I waited about 30 minutes for a person to get out of the shower. I assume he wanted to get his monies worth. Showers are expensive $5-6.... This left me and others with a cold shower. I'm sure a larger hot water heater would help but excessive use contributes to the cold water problem.

                      3: Free drink for JMT and PCT hikers, that is always nice... thanks VVR.

                      4: The Bath House has been under construction or planning phase for about a decade, maybe more. It is a running joke now among hikers... every year they seem to say next year. It will be a nice addition if and when it is up and running.

                      5: Service. I have experienced both bad and good service. It depends on the person. In general I would say the people are really nice.

                      6: Food. I have had some really good food and some mediocre food. You will have to ask around who is cooking... if you get stuck with a mediocre chef I recommend ordering something more simple from the menu. But keep in mind they changed the menu to exclude lunch items from the dinner menu. So I was unable to order a hamburger for dinner. This is a bit annoying.

                      7: Supply Pick Up. I only used this service one time in 97' The cost now is a bit high for my taste. I simply load up at the restaurant and buy some additional snacks to make it to Red's Meadow where I repeat the process until Tuolumne Meadows where I pick up a package for no fee at the Post Office. This works really well for a Northbound hike. I haven't hiked Southbound yet....but it sounds like Muir Ranch or Kearsarge Pass would be more logical for a southbound hike.

                      I hope my comments paint a better picture of VVR.

                      Paul (Tangent)

                      --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, LEBRUN <bnslebrun@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Same here!! 3 times last four years -- great experience, food was great,
                      > showers and laundry worked -- would stay again!!
                      >
                      > Bruce
                      >
                      >
                      > On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > **
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Wow, that review is amazing and totally contrary to my experiences. I
                      > > have been there twice and outside of Olive had only excellent
                      > > interactions. Washers worked, showers worked and even the ferry was
                      > > running (sort of) both times and the food and pies were great and the beer
                      > > and the company, both backpackers and VVR people. Jim went out of his way
                      > > to get me and others hooked up with oddball rides. I must say I am glad to
                      > > see Olive seeking other career opportunities but that was a minor
                      > > irritation. I certainly will be back next year.****
                      > >
                      > > Joe****
                      > >
                      > > ** **
                      > >
                      > > *From:* mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com [mailto:
                      > > mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *cjoslyn99
                      > > *Sent:* Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:05 PM
                      > > *To:* mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com
                      > > *Subject:* [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS****
                      > >
                      > > ** **
                      > >
                      > > ****
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I think what was described was probably an isolated incident and a clash
                      > > with the author's personal sensibilities. I stopped there in 2011
                      > > (actually to exit w/ a twisted ankle and they took great care of me) and
                      > > 2012 (finally finishing the JMT) and would have no qualms going there
                      > > again. I wouldn't send a resupply there - as being unnecessary - but
                      > > pick up what I needed, have some fabulous food and drink, shower, do
                      > > laundry, camp and be on my way.
                      > >
                      > > No way is it a rip-off. Given where VVR is situated and the level of
                      > > services they DO provide to backpackers (where one shouldn't expect to
                      > > get anything), the costs are right in line. Not sure why there was a
                      > > perception that somehow backpackers are unwelcome. In contrast to MTR,
                      > > VVR goes out of its way to make comforts available to backpackers
                      > > (bathrooms, shower, laundry, phone, their store and restaurants). MTR
                      > > is a little more challenged in terms of being able to procure
                      > > food/supplies etc. to non-guests, so I don't begrudge them that, but I
                      > > felt less welcome at MTR than VVR (they won't even let you use their
                      > > bathrooms). At VVR you are a guest regardless.
                      > >
                      > > Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character and will
                      > > verablly spar w/ backpackers who want to participate, but she was always
                      > > nice to me.
                      > >
                      > > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports
                      > > reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing
                      > > (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal
                      > > here:
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-res\
                      > > upply<http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply>
                      > > >
                      > > > With response:
                      > > >
                      > > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply --
                      > > which would ruin my whole summer.
                      > > >
                      > > > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A
                      > > quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
                      > > >
                      > > > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their
                      > > late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
                      > > >****
                      > >
                      > > ****
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >

                    • Robert
                      I ve been holding back a little to comment on this one because I fall somewhere between the reviewers harsh viewpoint and the rosier positive reviews. I too
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                        I've been holding back a little to comment on this one because I fall somewhere between the reviewers harsh viewpoint and the rosier positive reviews. I too have been to VVR with the old owners and the new, and the best way for me to describe it is: it used to be a rustic place to visit with nice people to visit with and good food. Now it is a rustic, dirty place to visit with a couple of people working there that really don't care for the hiker-types, but the food is still alright. I have never used their re-supply service, so I can't comment on that aspect, but it is no longer worth it to me to go out of my way to go there, from my prospective. They do fill a niche for hikers, and I suppose if one has never been there before it may be worth a visit and enjoy a beer or two, but the cleanliness of everything from the kitchen to the showers has degraded in the last 5-6 years.

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ptoddf" <ptoddf@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal here:
                        >
                        > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupply
                        >
                        > With response:
                        >
                        > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
                        >
                        >
                        > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply -- which would ruin my whole summer.
                        >
                        > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
                        >
                        > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
                        >
                      • Matt
                        It sounds like the author s main gripes were: 1. Olive was a witch. 2. The washing machines and showers had problems. 3. Jim, the owner, wasn t personable
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                          It sounds like the author's main gripes were:

                          1. Olive was a witch.

                          2. The washing machines and showers had problems.

                          3. Jim, the owner, wasn't personable enough.

                          As to the first point, it looks as if Olive isn't returning. Problem solved.

                          As to the second point, while this would be disappointing to deal with, it shouldn't be entirely unexpected at a place as remote as this, and, in that regard, as long as the staff were up-front about it and/or money was refunded, it wouldn't be the end of the world for me (as I wouldn't be any worse off than if I'd never stopped off at the VVR in the first place).

                          As to the third point, I'd personally prefer for the owner not to feel the need to get chummy with me. In that regard, I've met both Jim (current owner) and Butch (past owner, may he rest in peace) and don't recall a dramatic difference in their level of frendliness (Butch may have taken somewhat more time to visit with the hikers but the resort was smaller and had fewer services in those days).

                          Finally, the biggest reason I stop off at the VVR is for the food. And on that point, the author admitted that he had nothing to gripe about.
                        • targetdoggmechanic
                          Olive was great actually. I ate there and told her I couldn t believe how fast my tab was running up with the beers and ferry ride and resupply and such...she
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jun 14, 2013
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                            Olive was great actually. I ate there and told her I couldn't believe how fast my tab was running up with the beers and ferry ride and resupply and such...she recommended that I work bussing tables and chopping wood the next day...breakfast and lunch done..then chopped some wood. Tab went down to zero since they were short handed that year...2009. We ended up pounding beers with the other employees that night around the fire after power down. Needless to say I ended up staying another day cause I was feeling a little drunk still the next morning.

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Joe MacLeish" <jmacleish@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Wow, that review is amazing and totally contrary to my experiences. I have
                            > been there twice and outside of Olive had only excellent interactions.
                            > Washers worked, showers worked and even the ferry was running (sort of) both
                            > times and the food and pies were great and the beer and the company, both
                            > backpackers and VVR people. Jim went out of his way to get me and others
                            > hooked up with oddball rides. I must say I am glad to see Olive seeking
                            > other career opportunities but that was a minor irritation. I certainly
                            > will be back next year.
                            >
                            > Joe
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
                            > On Behalf Of cjoslyn99
                            > Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:05 PM
                            > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I think what was described was probably an isolated incident and a clash
                            > with the author's personal sensibilities. I stopped there in 2011
                            > (actually to exit w/ a twisted ankle and they took great care of me) and
                            > 2012 (finally finishing the JMT) and would have no qualms going there
                            > again. I wouldn't send a resupply there - as being unnecessary - but
                            > pick up what I needed, have some fabulous food and drink, shower, do
                            > laundry, camp and be on my way.
                            >
                            > No way is it a rip-off. Given where VVR is situated and the level of
                            > services they DO provide to backpackers (where one shouldn't expect to
                            > get anything), the costs are right in line. Not sure why there was a
                            > perception that somehow backpackers are unwelcome. In contrast to MTR,
                            > VVR goes out of its way to make comforts available to backpackers
                            > (bathrooms, shower, laundry, phone, their store and restaurants). MTR
                            > is a little more challenged in terms of being able to procure
                            > food/supplies etc. to non-guests, so I don't begrudge them that, but I
                            > felt less welcome at MTR than VVR (they won't even let you use their
                            > bathrooms). At VVR you are a guest regardless.
                            >
                            > Olive is (or was...didn't know she won't be back) a character and will
                            > verablly spar w/ backpackers who want to participate, but she was always
                            > nice to me.
                            >
                            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                            > <mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com> , "ptoddf" wrote:
                            > >
                            > > I was going to resupply at VVR next month, but negative reports
                            > reached my ears. Then my search for "VVR Reviews" found this scathing
                            > (and current) report. Read the whole thing, including VVR's rebuttal
                            > here:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-res\
                            > <http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-backpacker-resupp
                            > ly>
                            > upply
                            > >
                            > > With response:
                            > >
                            > > http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/vermilion-valley-resort-papers
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > If one quarter of this is true, I can't trust them for resupply --
                            > which would ruin my whole summer.
                            > >
                            > > I have my Muir Trail Ranch labels ready to print from their site. A
                            > quick stop and a hop into their hot spring and I'll be hiking again.
                            > >
                            > > Don't need to spend a whole day and night at VVR, then wait for their
                            > late morning ferry boat. MTR is more central anyway.
                            > >
                            >
                          • ptoddf
                            My main concern is having my resupply package be there. The mention on this thread ( A bear must have taken it , they were told), is the second gone missing
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 15, 2013
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                              My main concern is having my resupply package be there. The mention on this thread ("A bear must have taken it", they were told), is the second "gone missing" case at VVR I've heard of. That's two too many for me.

                              And thanks for the many first hand experience replies across the spectrum. It's all real and helpful info IMO. A visit is clearly a mixed bag, but how could it not be?

                              It does seem like VVR must appeal much more to gung ho party animals than others. I mean, $200 a day for food and (a lot of) beer? Wow. That I can afford to miss!



                              Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Express™, an AT&T LTE smartphone
                            • ravi_jmt2013
                              The water level in the lake will probably decide the issue for me. I don t plan to send a resupply to VVR but could be interested in dropping in for lunch,
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jun 15, 2013
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                                The water level in the lake will probably decide the issue for me. I don't plan to send a resupply to VVR but could be interested in dropping in for lunch, laundry and a shower if the boat is running. But I doubt it will be in early September and I've read that the trail along the lake isn't very scenic and has lots of ups and downs. Returning to the JMT via the Bear Creek trail isn't an option for me since I want to hike the full JMT. So an out-and-back from the JMT to VVR of 12+ miles on a not so great trail just for some food doesn't hold much appeal. But it will be an interesting experiment to see if the lure of food will change my mind when I get to that junction...



                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, ptoddf <ptoddf@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > My main concern is having my resupply package be there. The mention on this thread ("A bear must have taken it", they were told), is the second "gone missing" case at VVR I've heard of. That's two too many for me.
                                >
                                > And thanks for the many first hand experience replies across the spectrum. It's all real and helpful info IMO. A visit is clearly a mixed bag, but how could it not be?
                                >
                                > It does seem like VVR must appeal much more to gung ho party animals than others. I mean, $200 a day for food and (a lot of) beer? Wow. That I can afford to miss!
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Express™, an AT&T LTE smartphone
                                >
                              • robert shattuck
                                It does seem like VVR must appeal much more to gung ho party animals than others. I mean, $200 a day for food and (a lot of) beer? Wow. That I can afford to
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jun 15, 2013
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                                  "It does seem like VVR must appeal much more to gung ho party animals than others. I mean, $200 a day for food and (a lot of) beer? Wow. That I can afford to miss!" 

                                  ##########

                                  I have been trying to get on the great VVR debate, but a sudden wealth of work and the fact that I am suddenly forced to use my cell phone to reply ( thank you hotmail upgrades and my ancient laptop) has left me with little energy or patience . . . 

                                  Again, been there many a time, seen the place go through some changes and . . . it's really a pretty mellow place and usually by the time the generators click off at 10 or 11 p.m., it usually dies down to a whisper in the trees. 

                                  As for it being prone to "gung ho party animals"  this is pretty much the dependent/fault of whatever crew of backpackers are there––often if you get a large group of guys in for the night, they
                                  might get noisy, but it's not usually the staff. 

                                  Back in the day, Butch attracted quite the crowd . . . . he had a following, you might say . . . and they could stay up late, but since his "departure" you don't get those folks up there too much, or at least they aren't coming up to sit around the fire and tell tall-tales . . . Butch and crew were full of 'em. 

                                  Last August I hustled in, my mind set on sleeping in one of the tent cabins and melting into one of those bunks, but turns out that a few crazy PCTers not only skipped on their bills, but they made a mess of one of the cabins . . . puking in it, for one . . . so Jim decided to just let the staff have them. 

                                  This does suck and I hope he changes it–––I had the chance to see a few "clean and tidy" staff abodes and well . . . maybe he should hold inspections now and then. 

                                  Believe me, if it cost $200 a day at the VVR, I would never bother . . . uh, don't buy so much beer. 

                                  And as for the beer, it has been an amazingly sane deal up there––I would think he would charge twice as much as the rates down in the flats, but no . . . 

                                  If you stick to just eating some great meals and the bare essentials ( shower, shuttle, laundry {but why?} . . . ) you'll end up paying around a hundred bucks for a night, maybe less. 

                                  But if you decide to $pend time e-mailing everyone you know, or $alling them, or buying a few bottle$$$$ of wine and or beer and $o on . . . yeah, you're gonna tip it. 

                                  Also, I've never had a resupply go missing from the VVR . . . last August, I got there, signed in and then they told me I could go grab my box, but I couldn't find it––that was a bit of scare––but one of the staff had just heard my name and went and pulled my box before I got to it--they brought it into the store for me and there it was when I came trotting in, worried look on my face. 



                                  BOB
                                  http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




                                  To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: ptoddf@...
                                  Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:15:55 -0700
                                  Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

                                   

                                  My main concern is having my resupply package be there. The mention on this thread ("A bear must have taken it", they were told), is the second "gone missing" case at VVR I've heard of. That's two too many for me.

                                  And thanks for the many first hand experience replies across the spectrum. It's all real and helpful info IMO. A visit is clearly a mixed bag, but how could it not be?

                                  It does seem like VVR must appeal much more to gung ho party animals than others. I mean, $200 a day for food and (a lot of) beer? Wow. That I can afford to miss!



                                  Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Express™, an AT&T LTE smartphone

                                • Illya V.
                                  I vouch for Jim and VVR. I ve stopped by my last 3 JMT hikes and always received great service. Jim even brought my trekking poles to Fresno for me (I left
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jun 15, 2013
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                                    I vouch for Jim and VVR. I've stopped by my last 3 JMT hikes and always received great service. Jim even brought my trekking poles to Fresno for me (I left them on the ferry) one time, and this last time he gave me a freebie shuttle ride cause I waited for him to switch out signs on the trail. I've never had problems at VVR and I've never met "Olive."
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