Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sequoia National Park, May 25, 2011

Arrived at our campsite at about 6 PM and found our site easily (it's a very small campground)! Drove the rig to a level area and unhooked the tow. I got in the tow car and was going to move it out of the way so Jim could maneuver the rig into our spot. Uh-oh! I could not shift out of park. Luckily there were a few men right across from us who offered to help. Before they found the problem I was able to guide Jim into our site and even missed hitting the tow car sitting right behind the rig. Boy am I good!
Anyway, turns out it was a blown fuse. Put in a new one and, voila, it works! Had a great night knowing we had a car for a tour of the park on the next day.
Got up this morning at about 5 am to get ready to leave before 6:15 in order to make the 45 minute trip from campground to beginning of road repairs in the park. Only one lane for about 3 miles so they guide cars through every hour on the hour beginning at 7. We got there in good time and didn't wait any time before the caravan got started.
Snow, snow, snow was everywhere on the ground. Not new...but icy. We started out by hiking the Sherman Tree Trail. Of course, it led to the General Sherman Tree. It is the world's largest living tree. I'd take their word on was HUGE! It is estimated to be about 2,100 years old. It was surrounded by other sequoia's....all part of the Giant Forest! You have to see them to believe.
We left there and visited the Giant Forest Museum. Lots of information about the trees and the history of the national park. Even had pictures of a car which was smashed by a falling limb. When you walked around the monarch trees there were what looked like other large trees on the ground...they weren't trees they were limbs from the giant sequoia!! Happy I wasn't standing there when they fell.
We left the museum and took the trail called Big Trees which encircled a meadow where we had to cut our hike short in order to not disturb the bears! Yes, it looked like two families...a couple of moms with their cubs. While we were watching them another bear showed up...they were all happily eating the new grasses in the meadow. We decided to double back and hike to the car. The hiking trails were mostly covered with snow so we got a little lost. Along the way I took a wrong step too near a fallen log and discovered there was no base under the top frozen snow. My leg plunged through up to my knee and I fell straight on my face. I laid there laughing until Jim came to check I was OK and I could get up. Managed to injure my right knee a little but it didn't stop me from continuing with the tour. (I'm writing this now with an ice pack on it.)
After getting back to the car we drove to Moro Rock...a granite dome from which you can see spectacular views of the Great Western Divide and the western regions of the park. The steps go up and around the side for 400 steps...300 feet to the top. Just remember to not look down unless you're holding on to a railing or leaning against the side. It was very cold and beautiful. Long way up but easier coming down. Knee was feeling a little tight but I kept on going.
On the road up to Moro Rock we drove through Tunnel Log...a tunnel cut through a fallen sequoia.
The funniest thing to happen this day was getting lost...really lost...walking the trail around Crescent Meadow. Yes, the trail was covered with snow and, yes, we got lost...really lost. I would love to see a drawing of how we finally got around the would look like zigzag I'm sure. By the time we finished I had taken off my scarf and my jacket...that was quite a hike. Oh yea, Jim fell through the snow but he used both his legs. Didn't fall on his face though...I managed to get a picture of him that way. We both decided that was enough hiking for the day.
Obviously, it wasn't. We drove all through the park and into King's Canyon. Found the General Grant Tree. Many other sequoia's on that trail as well...we even walked through a hollowed sequoia trunk.
That was it for the day. Jim drove us back all the way through Sequoia National Park and through the construction and back to the motorhome. We got home about 12 hours after we had left in the morning.
Will be packing up to pull out of the campground in the morning headed to Yosemite. Hope we have as much fun and see beautiful nature as we did today.

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