Tuesday, November 16, 2010

11/4/10 Day 32

     Today we were going to see the giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park and National Forest.  We skipped the sequoia groves in Yosemite because we were planning on going here.  We got up and had some cereal.  Eric was feeling much better and it made it a little easier to get going.  We said our goodbyes and took a picture then went on our way. 
The Jack 'o' Lantern on the left is Cameron's understudy

     It felt good to be back on the road again.  We didn’t have to go far until we were approaching the entrance to Sequoia National Park and an added bonus we didn’t know about, Kings Canyon National Park is pretty much connected to Sequoia so we got into both parks for the price of one.  We stopped at a ranger station right outside the entrance and the ranger told us that Kings Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon!  She said that they call it their “secret little slice of heaven,” because it is not widely known. 
    When we entered the park, we knew immediately what the ranger meant.  It was beautiful, and there weren’t nearly as many people in the park as compared to Yellowstone or Yosemite.  It is so much more enjoyable to experience these wonders of nature without a million other people swarming around them like at other more popular parks we had been at.
     The first thing we did after paying the entrance fee is go to Grant’s Grove, where the General Grant Tree is located.  It is the second largest tree in the world.  There were several other trees named after states in this grove as well as a fallen tree with its trunk hollowed out to make a tunnel for visitors to walk through.  It was pretty neat. 
     We continued on the road towards Kings Canyon.  The road provided many beautiful overlooks.  The mountains surrounding the Canyon are covered in trees and they were turning brilliant colors for the fall season.  The trees were mostly evergreens, but a few orange and yellow leafed trees sprinkled the mountainside too.  It was stunning.  The most picturesque area we have traveled through so far, in my opinion. 
     On the way to the Canyon, we stopped at a couple of small waterfalls, but mostly just enjoyed the leisurely drive through the magnificent scenery.  At one point we were driving right along side the river and could see the rocky rapids.  We drove the canyon road until it ended then headed back towards a small National Forest camping area we saw on the way in.
Nothing like sleeping under the stars!  Or acorns, in this case
     The weather predicted a warm night, so we didn’t even bother to put up a tent.  We laid out a tarp and rolled out our sleeping gear.  Eric went to find wood for a fire and I cooked up some burgers Melissa had sent with us.  We ate, then sat around the fire and read our books until we got drowsy.  Then we settled into our sleeping bags with nothing between us and the great outdoors.  It felt pretty invigorating.  We slept under the stars and under the acorn tree threatening to drop its nuts on us all night.    
-       Virginia

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