We survived the acorns overnight onslaught and weren't bothered by bears as we slept, so the day was already off to a good start. We were excited to see more “big trees,” so we headed out of the valley. We were looking for the nearby General’s Highway, which winds among the many majestic sequoias, passing numerous breath taking vistas along the way.
Our day’s first goal was to see the General Sherman sequoia, which is the largest tree in the world and still growing. To ensure that people take the time to get out of their cars and actually enjoy nature, this and many other famous trees are only accessible by hiking trails, though it wasn’t always that way. It was easy going on the way to the tree, since it was downhill from where we parked and we got there just in time to hear a volunteer give a twenty-minute talk about sequoias.
|This sucker's big!|
These trees are remarkable, and learning about them as we starred at the General Sherman was awe inspiring! After looking around a bit more, we started back to the parking lot. This rather harder than the jaunt down, as we were at 7,000 feet above sea level and the air is very thin. They even had signs reminding us of this placed convincingly near benches along the path, several of which we took advantage of before reaching the lot.
It was a short drive from there to the Giant Forest Museum, where we spent some time looking at the exhibits. It was also here that we found out that there was major construction being do on the mountain road we would need to take out of the park and that they were only letting traffic through at the top of each hour. We were too far away to make the currant hour’s exodus. We needed to find something to do other than sitting in a parked car for an hour, so we decided to explore the land around us.
On the other side of the Museum’s parking lot is a smooth, stony outcropping known as Beetle Rock and we made our way there. We both round the landscape as well as the views it offered exhilarating and time just slid past as we scrambled over its craggy surface. We could feel the power and majesty that caused individuals like John Muir to fall in love with the area.
|Beetle Rock Rocks!|
We were reluctant to leave, but we had to start making time if we wanted to make Los Angeles by early nightfall. We left a tad early and ended up parking the car and waiting on the construction crew, but this gave us time to eat a quick snack lunch before beginning the long labor of snaking down the mountain. After refueling the car, we headed straight to LA, only stopping once for dinner at Denny’s.
The traffic was not nearly as dense, nor the roads as confusing as we had feared, and we made it to Virginia’s cousin Sarah’s without accident. Upon arrival at here apartment we were introduced to her Norwegian long haired tabby, Loki, whom we played with as we chatted with her and waited for her boyfriend, Tom to arrive. It was decided that we would stay in Tom’s apartment and he would stay with Sarah for a few days.