On Sunday we headed up to Sequoia & Kings Canyon.  The skies were gray and they
were calling for snow that night.  We couldn’t see far past the fog and clouds but
we did see several deer in the foothills of the park and lots of wildflowers!  We
stopped at the Giant Forest Museum and there I found one of my most favorite
people, Mary Anne or Mac as she is known by.  She has been working in the park for
32 years and was one of my bosses back when I worked there.  We chatted for a
while then PanamaRob and I drove over to the General Sherman Tree.  There is a lot
of snow still in Giant Forest so we didn’t walk around there very much.  We then
decided to drive over to Grant Grove in Kings Canyon NP.  There we stayed at Azalea
Campground where a few sites are plowed out in the wintertime and you can camp for
free.

We set up my big dome tent in anticipation of snow and I’m glad we did.  We got
about 6 inches of snow Sunday night but by morning the sun had come out again.  
PanamaRob, with his size 15 feet, decided it would be funny to walk around barefoot
and leave “Bigfootâ€� tracks.  He did this around the campground and several of
the turnouts we stopped at, lol  We also had a couple of good snowball fights those
two days.

On Tuesday we hiked the short Grant Tree Loop Trail which was stomped down
pretty well.  Then we hiked back up to the campground and got in the truck.  We
drove down Highway 180 to the Hume Lake Turnoff then drove up to Hume Lake.  
Along this road there are some pretty decent views of Kings Canyon, which you
cannot drive down into in the wintertime.  We then went to Hume Lake and hiked
around it.  This is a hike I’d never done before and I found it to be quite
pleasant.  My favorite section was a boardwalk and bridge across Ten Mile Creek.  
You can also see the Hume Lake Dam, which is a National Historic Landmark as it was
the first multiple-arch dam ever constructed.  It was built so the Sanger Lumber
Company could have a mill pond.  The company never made much money from logging
and in the 1930’s the area was sold to the US Forest Service and it’s now
part of Giant Sequoia National Monument.

We saw a California Gray Squirrel and several species of birds along the trail.  Most
of it is snow free right now.  The normally bustling Christian Camp which is on its
Western Shore was quiet and as there were no footprints in the snow on some
sections, we knew we were the only ones to hike around the lake that day.

We headed back to Grant Grove and as we were both somewhat chilled from our
winter hike we decided to eat at the small restaurant there.  Not many people visit
Kings Canyon NP in the wintertime and it was a nice change from Yosemite which was
bustling.

PanamaRob made a great fire that night as temperatures dropped quite low.  I was
glad to have my –5 degree bag – even though it probably didn’t get below 15
degrees, I am a cold sleeper!

In the morning the sun was shining and we packed up and headed back through
Sequoia NP.  This time we could see Moro Rock, Castle Rocks, and the Great
Western Divide as we drove; they were obscured by clouds on the way there.  We
then went into Visalia, had lunch at a good Mexican food place on Main Street, then
went over to Avis where PanamaRob rented a car which he would need as this
concluded my part of the vacation!

After cleaning up that afternoon, we took a drive up to Camp Nelson.  The sunset
framed by the Tule Canyon was beautiful.  We then drove into Porterville and had
dinner once again at the Black Bear Diner.

PanamaRob left, headed towards the Santa Monica Mountains and LA, this morning.  
He plans to go to a Angel’s baseball game on Thursday with friends from rrbbs.
com and hang out with them on Friday as well.  Meanwhile I returned to work and my
daily life.  I now have 18 bagnights under my belt so far this year…  I think I will
beat last year’s 31!
Back to Joshua Tree (1st part of trip)
Back to Yosemite (2nd part of trip)
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Sequoia & Kings Canyon
National Parks

April 3-5, 2005
Rock Cress
Arabis sp.
Golden Triteleia
Triteleia montana
Kaweah River
Manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula
Caterpillar plant
Phacelia mutabilis
? an unknown flower
Stonecrop
Sedum obtusatum
Me next to General Sherman,
the largest tree on Earth
Mt. Silliman, I summited in July 2000
Us at a viewpoint of Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in North America, on one
side it is 8,000' feet deep!
Hwy 180 as it winds down into Kings Canyon
Hume Lake
Tenmile Creek which runs into Hume Lake
My little cabin at Lodgepole (the one on the left) that was
my home one summer
It snowed 6 inches on us the first night we were at Azalea
Campground in Kings Canyon NP
Lake Kaweah and the Great Western Divide towering above
This lake is just outside the south entrance of Sequoia NP
Moro Rock, Alta Peak, and Mt. Kaweah (13,802') are all visible
Kings Canyon again