Sequoia National Park
May 19, 2010
|After a wonderful wedding and visit with Mom, Uncle David, Aunt Louise, Marty, Steve, Katie, and many others we left Twenty-nine Palms and headed for the Sequoia National Park. Of course there were a few stops along the way (one of my favorites is Hadley Fruit Orchards outside of Cabazon, CA) as we meandered northwest but at last we arrived at the Sequoia National Park.
As we get to the park entrance on California Hwy 198 a sign greets us proclaiming, “Vehicles longer than 22 feet are not advised…” along with the suggestion for a different route. I thrust my chin up and proudly proclaim that we are only 21 feet long (plus… I’ve driven in the Colorado Rockies and Hwy 63 outside of Asheville, NC… so I fear no roads). Silly me.
To add a challenge to my drive the kind ranger informs me that they are doing construction further up on the road, therefore I need to be at the construction point within 30 minutes in order to be allowed through or else we will have to sit and wait for an hour before they let us through with the next round of vehicles. So I ask, “How long will it take me to get to the construction point?” She smilingly replies, “Thirty minutes if you leave right now.” Golly, doesn’t leave much time for dallying does it?
So, with the added pressure of knowing that the clock is ticking, off we go on one curvy road! The views, however, were magnificent and well worth the drive. I was glad that we weren’t an inch longer, wider, or taller, as we watched an RV ahead of us barely maneuver the turns while the overhanging rocks missed him by only inches. Once we got to the construction zone we only had about a five minute wait before they let us through and then it was relaxed, leisurely, driving for the rest of our time in the park.
The first view of those giant sequoias took my breath away. Pictures and words don’t do them justice. They are majestic, enormous, awesome trees. As I stood next to them and looked up, realizing that they are thousands of years old, it made me feel very small and humble. My life span isn’t even a blip on the radar screen next to these giants. “These huge trees sprout from seeds as small and light as oat flakes…Cones hang on trees, green and closed, up to 20 years.”
After a full day of exploring this magnificent forest (and the edge of Kings Canyon National Park) we drove back down for a sound sleep in Sanger, CA. Tomorrow we are checking in (probably for a full week) to SKP Park Sierra in Coarsegold, CA, just south of Yosemite National Park. We are looking forward to visiting with a friend of ours, Barb, who lives nearby.
We couldn’t have asked for a better time to be here since the wildflowers are all in bloom, the weather is comfortable, and the tourist rush hasn’t fully started. How blessed we are to be seeing all this!