Trip Start May 29, 2012
22Trip End Jun 30, 2012
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Where I stayed
Lodgepole Campground Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Departing Yosemite we followed the heat and made our way south to Sequoia National Park
Unlike Yosemite where the monoliths evoked a feeling of microscopic insignificance and isolation from what might lay beyond them, the dramatic expanses of Sequoia made it seem as if the peaks and canyons of the Sierra Nevada were endless. Like Yosemite, however, Sequoia was equally emphatic about bear safety given the high prevalence of black bears (no grizzlies) in the area. We even had to sign off that we had received a bear debriefing, i.e. how and where to store food, don't run if you do see a bear, etc! In spite of that, I'm pretty sure that Mom and Auntie Pollyann would've adopted the default response to run and scream hysterically. Truth be told, I likely would have joined them... Thankfully, however, the only bears we encountered were as we drove past in our safe and cosy chariot, aka Milly.
Lodgepole Campground was our resting spot while in Sequoia
Sequoia, again like Yosemite, also has this amazing shuttle system that picks us up – for free!! - right at our campground and runs on a loop route to all the most popular sights and trailheads in the park. Not only did it do wonders for reminding me that I'm not, in fact, a tour bus driver but it also kept all (or at least most) of the lousy motorhome drivers off Sequoia's insanely windy roads (yes, I include myself in that lot)
We spent an entire day walk-hiking (a new term coined to describe the activities of our illustrious trio) amidst the giant Sequoia trees. In fact, Marth... I mean Auntie Pollyann :) and Mom impressed me tremendously by braving the 400-ish steps up the side of a granite dome to the top of Moro Rock! We went first thing in the morning to avoid the heat and were rewarded with great visibility and spectacular views across the High Sierra to the Great Western Divide. From there we did an easy little walk – the Big Trees Trail – in the Giant Forest. They had a particularly interesting interpretive display whereby they mapped out the 'footprint' of a nearby Sequoia on the pathway in order to show people just how big it is. It was an average-sized Sequoia, i.e. not the biggest, but the immensity of its footprint was nonetheless shockingly impressive. Our last little amble of the day was to the General Sherman Tree, the world's largest tree – largest by mass as opposed to height, the record for the latter being held by a tree in the coastal Redwoods National Park where we were a week ago. Apparently, at a youthful 2,200 years of age the General Sherman Tree's circumference at ground level is 103 feet with one of its branches measuring almost 7 feet in diametre. I'm not sure I was truly able to appreciate that it was dramatically larger than the surrounding giants (how much bigger than huge can a tree be??)... but I chose to believe the signboards and took a photo all the same
We returned for a late lunch / early happy hour to avoid being out during the afternoon heat. But this quickly turned into a planning session of how much we could possibly eat that day because we discovered that the fridge was... well, not cold. In fact, it was somewhere between luke-warm and cool-ish, at best. Thankfully the freezer was still in good shape, so I quickly addressed the urgent matter of chilling a couple of beers. Mom and Auntie Pollyann drink their wine – whether it's red or white – at any temperature (I know, “ewww”) so they were fine. But we did cook a lot more than usual that evening. And our descent from the mountains the following morning required a shift in priorities from a focus on the highlights promised by our next destination to a quest for technical refrigeration expertise regarding patching options vs replacement....
My Review Of The Place I Stayed