Wednesday, January 17, 2018

day 3: sequoia + kings canyon

I knew I was going to have to take dramamine for the drive on King's Canyon Scenic byway.  More than once...  I don't know about you, but dramamine for me works like a charm except that it makes me very, very tired (when we are driving, not adventuring in-between).  So I have to do my best to stay awake and not turn cranky.  I'm very aware that it will do this to me, so I really do try hard at least not to be cranky!

We started off pretty early as we had a bit of driving to do.

Sunrise overlook

Beautiful view, but a lot of air pollution!

The sun was just starting to peek and the mountains were a beautiful red orange. 

We made it to our first stop which wasn't far from where we were staying.  It was sooooooo cold!

The General Grant Tree Tail

Gamlin Cabin (below) is the first house in America's deepest canyon.  "The cabin was built in 1872 by Israel Gamlin.  Who with his brother Thomas Filed a timber claim to 160 acres within Grant Grove.  They quartered here until 1878 while grazing cattle in the mountains.  After General Grant National Park was established in 1890, the cabin was used as a storehouse by the U.S. Calvary who patrolled the park until 1913.  Later it became the quarters of the first park ranger station here."  - Gamlin Park signage.

General Grant Tree

The General Grant tree is the largest giant sequoia in the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park in California and the second largest tree in the world.  The General Sherman (which was on the previous post), is the largest tree in the world in case you were wondering.

Joe was rather disappointment that the tree was blocked off by a fence.  Most of the monument trees were... for good reason.

McGee Fire of 1955

The overlook below still shown the 1955 disastrous wildfire that swept the area.  McGee fire had devastated more than 13,000 acres of brush and forest and threatened the Grant Grove sequoias.

Thankfully these trees have very thick bark!  The sequoia bark may have up to 3 feet thick and pine may be 2 inches thick.  Noting that fire rarely damages the living wood of these trees.

Somehow I stayed awake for the very long (beautiful) drive on the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.  BUT I didn't feel sick, so thank you dramamine.

Panoramic of King's Canyon

Kings Canyon area glaciers are the southern-most in North America (Palisade Glacier).

Quick stop at Grizzly Falls

Joe gets the good hubby award for making photos with me in them.  Otherwise I probably wouldn't be in very many.

We hopped across the road to check out the South Fork Kings River

Entering Kings Canyon

Our next stop was Roaring Falls.  It was a short walk to get there and once we did a woman was quite panicked.  Her friend had fallen over some of the rocks.  Of course we couldn't see the lady as you had to go over the wall (which you aren't suppose to do).  Apparently they wanted a different view?  So Joe hopped over the wall and rushed down to help.  However, there were two other men (older family members maybe) down there with her.  Joe helped get her out.  She seemed to be okay, minus a few bruises and cuts.

Heed the warnings people.  Don't break rules.

OH and walking in and out of the car of this area were 10 million gnats that followed you around?  It was awful!  You had to speed walk for them not to be close by.

Our next stop was a hike around Zumwalt Meadow.

Signs of fall were here!  It was October...

Once we made it round the meadow, we finished our hike and drove to Roads End.  Literally the end of the road.

A few of King's Canyon Peaks (not all listed):

Rodger's Ridge
Spanish Mountain (10,051 feet)
Crown Rock (9342 feet)
Obelisk (9700 feet)
Little Tehipite Valley
Mt. Harrington (11,008 feet)
University Peak (13,632 feet)

Another Panoramic of Kings Canyon

During our honeymoon almost 10 years ago Joe wanted to stop by the Napa Valley sign to take make a picture.  During that time there weren't camera phones and I didn't have a tripod so we didn't take the photo.  I still haven't heard the end of it!!  So TO THIS DAY if Joe sees a sign we MUST take a photo by it.  I don't want to recreate / relive the Napa Valley sign story.  One missed sign is enough!

RE-ENTERING Sequoia National Park

Tree hugger...

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