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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: Sequoia and Kings Canyon

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Blogger's been down. I've been trying to post for three days. What's up with that? Let's hope it stays active long enough to get this post in.


What do you do during summer vacation when funds are low? Go camping!

We had to drive seven hours northeast to see for ourselves that, yes, there are still snow-capped mountains in California this June.

We left last Saturday morning at 6:30 and arrived at Kings River in Kings Canyon National Park (just north of Sequoia) by 2:30pm. Wait. That's eight hours. We stopped along the way - for gas, ice and maps of the area. We camped at 6000 feet along the raging river rapids. Ice was melting right off the mountains. Bears are active and hungry at this time of year. All of our food, toiletries and anything with a scent had to be kept in a sturdy metal container provided at each campsite. There's a $185 fine for leaving any of that stuff out.

Paula started gathering wood and brush for her 10-hour fire right away. She cooked potatoes - wrapped them in tin foil and threw them right into the blaze. On the grill/grate above the flames, we cooked veggies and boiled water for tea.

We don't have a tent so we pushed the picnic table against the open back of the peacemobile and created an extension for those of us who are too tall to stretch out comfortably without it. A heavy tarp covered the back, creating a tent-like effect. We tied the dogs in with us so they wouldn't take it upon themselves to protect us from bears and other critters of the night. In which case, they would be called bait.

Speaking of bait - you don't know fear until you have to pee in the woods at night.

We took walks, washed in the ice cold water, played cribbage and chess. And at night, we were invited across the way to another campsite to play music.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and coffee. We took our time packing up, left camp around 10 AM. We stopped at Grizzly Falls - a massive raging waterfall. Then we headed south to the Sequoia National Forest and Park. Our drive through was beautiful. We stopped to see General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. It is estimated to be between 2300 and 2700 years old. That's older than Christ. Longer than we've been counting calendar years. Personally, I'm not happy about the name of the tree. It sort of minimizes the actuality of its presence. But nonetheless, it is beautiful and worth seeing.

A branch had fallen from the tree over the winter (we suspect due to heavy snowfall). And let me tell you, this branch is the size of an enormous tree itself. It crashed through the heavy wooden fence surrounding the tree and shattered the pavement below.

Remember, that's just a branch.

For a visual tour of our journey, click here to see photos on my flicker account.

Comments on "Sequoia and Kings Canyon"

 

Blogger ChasingMoksha said ... (12:14 PM) : 

I have been to that tree before. I loved it. We made it there in the evening, it was cool, dark, it was like one was deep in the woods, sort of like a Fairy Tale.....

 

Blogger Trish said ... (12:28 PM) : 

Moksha, yes yes! I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Exactly. Everything around us was massive - and alive with beauty.

 

Blogger Robbie said ... (1:59 PM) : 

Can I go next time? I want to commune with nature and get away from the city. Erm...ummm I think I'll get a motel room though.

That's a branch! Holy freakin' cow!

Hey! Where's the pic of you in a skirt? Now that's a wonder of nature! :-)

 

Blogger BAF said ... (3:42 PM) : 

How awesome - a friend and I did a gap year in the USA travelling in an old smaller RV with our trusty bikes. Included in the trip were visits to the exact areas you show and describe. Makes me get itchy feet to do it again!! Book is on its way.Enjoy your Summer as we begin winter :-(

Best Regards

 

Blogger gigi said ... (3:51 PM) : 

Is that a piece of the General on Paula's fire? Or just a really huge vegetable?

It sounds like a beautiful, nature-oriented experience. It's good to get away; it helps to remind us who we are.

 

Blogger sunflowerkat119 said ... (7:03 AM) : 

I know that's a part of the country I would love to explore. Thanks for sharing.

 

Blogger Trish said ... (7:40 AM) : 

Robbie, yes indeed, I wore a skirt for the drive up. It's so comfortable. I think I've found my summer attire. Who knew?

BAF, amazing how we can be in polar opposite sides of the world and you know exactly where I've been. I hope to get over there sometime.

Gi, that piece of pine? sequoia? caught all night and never fully burned. It was not dry enough. We could burn anything that had already fallen. If it were the General, I think we'd be in prison now or something.

Kat, nice to see you! You would have a blast photographing the land up there. I would love to see it through your eyes.

 

Blogger Heather said ... (2:10 PM) : 

What beautiful pictures! I loved looking at your flickr to see them! Wow. I'm so jealous! I'm going to have to go exploring around here in corn country to see if I can find something cool like that! :)

 

Blogger V said ... (12:09 PM) : 

Hi, Pooch!
V

 

Blogger DEREK said ... (9:40 AM) : 

you have just helped me find what I'm going to do this weekend, it's been way too long!

 

Blogger Remo said ... (1:17 AM) : 

What a fantastic trip! Gotta love the comment about going pee at night - it's times like those when I'm really glad I have a super-duper cop flashlight.

 

Anonymous kristen said ... (8:05 AM) : 

Good for you! I love camping. Those 2 parks are gorgeous. If you ever get up the courage to move on to backpacking, the Rae Lakes Loop takes about 4 days and goes through some gorgeous backcountry of Kings Canyon. It's kinda brutal in spots, but I saw little kids backpacking it, so perhaps I'm just a wuss.

Your dogs are adorable!

 

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