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Re: VERMILION VALLEY RESORT PROBLEMS

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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