Archive | 12:26 am

Sequoia Highlights

19 Aug

Sequoia Highlights

Such a great trip.  We started by picking up Ruthie from my folks.  She had a great time but it was so nice to see her again.  Then we drove up to Sequoia National Park.  There really aren’t words to describe how BIG the famous Giant Sequoias are.  I live everyday with the tallest trees in the world.  But the Giant Sequoias are the most massive trees in the world.  They are phenomenally huge.  There is a tree in Sequoia called the General Sherman.  There is a branch on that tree that is bigger than any tree east of the Mississippi.  One branch on a huge tree.  They are breathtaking.  Everytime you see one, you are surprised anew.

We also drove around the adjacent Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park.  We stumbled upon a small pack station/riding stable deep in the woods of Sequoia National Forest.  We went back the next day and did an hour ride — what a treat.  The people who ran the stable are wonderful and the horses were so well cared for.  I rode a Clydesdale named Lady.  What a treat.  She was a huge and very sweet girl.  She pulls a sleigh for them in the winter.

While driving around that area, we came across the Buck Rock Lookout.  It is high in the Sierras perched high atop a rock that overlooks Kings Canyon National Park.  You can walk up the stairs and go to the Lookout.  YOU can . . . I will not, thank you very much!

After four days in Sequoia, we headed down into the Central Valley to meet up with friends at Lake Hensley.  Sequoia is very remote and there is no cell phone service there.  Once we reached civilization (in the form of Fresno!), my cell phone went nuts.  Turns out that the drought in California has turned Lake Hensley from a delightful camping/fishing spot to a hell hole.  The ranger called our friends and told them that we shouldn’t come — the lake was at 7% of capacity and they had not potable water there . . . oh, and the bathrooms were closed too.  So, our friends did some major internet/phone searches and found us another campground the same day we needed it.  Amazing.  So, we ended up in Oakhurst, California.  It’s the town at the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park.  Great spot.  Friday, we drove into Yosemite Valley and had a picnic along the river underneath El Capitan — a famous climbing mountain.  Very, very cool.  There were climbers on the mountain.  It was amazing — even zoomed in as close as I could with my camera, the hikers were teeny-tiny on the side of that huge hunk of granite.

Saturday, we spent the day on Bass Lake.  It’s a small man-made lake near Oakhurst.  Absolutely beautiful spot.  We rented a boat and inner tube.  Great day!  And, way cooler on the water and especially in the water.

We drove home early on Sunday.  Getting a nice long shower felt soooooooo good.  Camping is fun but being in cool fog is my idea of the perfect temperature!