Monday morning, Dane and I and our faithful Vizsla Penny launched for the long trip to Sequoia National Park.
Several months ago I went online to look for possibilities for campsites and wanted the mountains because I feared the temperatures elsewhere. I grabbed the only site available out of several hundred and as it turned out, it was probably the best campsite there.
The trip up was tough. We had to go through LA on I-5 (the five) and there were several serious backups. I’m not sure if it helps or not to have Google Maps tell you that “there’s a 25 minute delay ahead of you in five miles. You are on the fastest route.”
The temperatures were about 108 on the steep climbs north of LA and I watched the temperature gauge get higher and higher. Then I took a shortcut which looked good on the map but was as twisty and narrow a road I’ve seen. We entered King’s National Park and drove about an hour to our campground in Sequoia. Here’s Dane and Penny just below our site.
The campground was full with nearly every site having a campfire. The daytime temperature was in the low eighties -at 6700′ – and the nighttime temps were in the forties.
The first morning I was up early to walk the dog and met this young buck, whose antlers were in velvet, about 20 feet from the van. (I saw him and his brother/cousin each morning.)
One of the problems with National Parks is that they are not dog-friendly. You can not take them on any trails. I knew this but it’s still a pain. We took a drive down to the big redwoods Tuesday morning. Left Penny in the rig with hopes she’d not tear it up, and walked with dozens of others down to see the General Sherman tree – the largest tree by volume in the world. Going down was easy but still it was nice to rest.
Here is Dane in front of the tree and a shot of one of the many other stately trees.
The following day, we drove about a half hour over to the national forest where dogs are allowed. We cloned up an old logging trail where only elk and horse prints were visible, bushwhacked up to a mountaintop, and Dane tried, without success, to find a cell signal.
He took this photo of Penny and me before we headed back toward the van, with a slight pause for getting “unlost.”
The trip back Thursday was brutal. There was more traffic (getting a jump on the long weekend) and four or five major backups that went for five or ten miles at a time. Too many people for the 8 lane roads – and the thrill of having young Marines on motorcycles threading there way between the slow-moving cars and trucks, dodging wide mirrors, driving way too fast.
The outing was great. We got some exercise, ate well, slept well, and only got lost in the woods for about ten minutes. The Airstream worked well – I used the solar a few times to supplement the batteries, and Wednesday for lunch, we ordered pizza from the campground store. Now that is glamping.