Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks - October 27

October 27 ......after going to church in a very small building built by gold miners, and used every Sunday ever since, we rolled out to find some more national parks that were on my 'must do' list.  We headed south on Rts. 49 and 41, until we came to Fresno and Rt. 99 south to Visalia, where we turned east on Rt. 198. We traveled through amazing agricultural country, even though it's all irrigated desert, and saw orange groves, olive trees, grapevines (passing the 'raisin capital of the world, Selma), grain silos, cattle, and lots of other things we couldn't identify. It was 85 degrees, and we rode with the windows down and enjoyed the weather. It's a good thing we did, because little did we know what was about to come. We went from lemon and grapefruit fields, into the mountains on Rt. 198. Not only did it climb over 6000 ft, but there were 130 curves and switchbacks in a twenty six mile stretch ( I read that in the park statistics that we found in a pamphlet). After thinking the road to the gold mining towns that we went on yesterday was the curviest I had ever been on, Rt. 198 wins hands down. We went around one bend and came upon a American black bear cub right next to the road. We watched him eat from a shrub for a few minutes. Around each bend was either another bend, or some beautiful new view. There are mountains with granite domes, changing autumn leaves, as well as some pretty big sequoias right in the middle of the road. It's a beautiful drive, but you cannot be in a hurry, and it was nice that there was plenty of sunshine, and very little traffic. By the time we got to the top of the mountain, to the General Sherman Tree area, we only had about two hours of daylight left. The General Sherman tree is the largest in North America, and it is an amazing sight. We walked a trail around many other trees that were almost as big, but we were disappointed because they didn't even have a name. We stayed until near dark, but will have to come back to this area tomorrow, and pick up the many things we didn't get to see. We drove another 6 or eight miles to the  Wuksachi Lodge (which is in the middle of the National Park), which is the only place to stay within a couple of hours, and were lucky enough to get a room. We were real lucky, because we paid for the cheapest room they had (which wasn't cheap), and they somehow gave us one of their top of the line suites. How sweet was that! We ate at the restaurant that was there, and Pam spent the evening luxuriating in a bath tub, which we don't have in the RV.

Rows and rows of fruit trees and olive trees!!

Entering Sequoia National Park is quite a view

The old park road used to pass under this rock!  There are pictures of really old cars traveling through the "tunnel"
The park road comes in on the valley floor and just winds its way up to the top of the mountain!

Tried to get a good picture of this cub's face but he kept moving around!  You can see his red ear tag.

Driving among the "young" Sequoias

Getting ready to hike down the Sherman Tree trail - starting to get a little cool.

The best way to show the full size of a Sequoia is by video!

The Sequoias seem to grow very close to each other

Mike posing by an old branch

The trail was paved and easy to walk on, but it was steep

Mike is standing on the block "foot print" of the General Sherman tree!  This is the exact shape and size of the base of the tree!  Kinda gives you a new perspective on the size of this tree doesn't it?!

Trying to get a picture of us and the full tree!

Yeah, it's pretty wide!

This is the General Sherman tree!

Many of the trees have burn scars from previous forest fires, even General Sherman!  The tree tries to heals its self and grows over the burn.  Some of the fallen trees show signs of surviving 80 or more fires!

Fallen tree

Tunnel on one of the trails

Mike in a burn scar!

Old roots

These trees are just beautiful

Just hanging out with some trees!

Sunsetting as we are hiking back up the trail to our Jeep

Our fancy suite of rooms!  I even had a bathtub!!!

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