May 15 - 21, 2022
Sunday, another beautiful day to enjoy. We tried the resort's restaurant and was surprised to see they had prime rib, it was delicious. We did the normal moving day preparation.
Monday, we moved to a little town a little south of Sequoia National Park called Lemon Cove. Guess what they grow here... Lemon Cove RV park is a nice park, very well kept. We are back to no grass though, I think it is to conserve water. There is a nice view of two hills from the patio.
Tuesday, we visited the Sequoia National Park for a walk among the giants. It was a beautiful drive and these trees! The historic entry signs are unique, the firefighters saved them by wrapping them in reflective blankets during the recent fires (2020). They did the same in the Kings Canyon Park with some of the historic buildings. The mountain vistas along the drive are stunning, the alpine lupin are blooming and so are the yucca plants. I think this is the perfect time of year to visit. Have I mentioned that each different type of yucca plant depends on its own species of moth for pollination? How delicate is that? Some of the areas in the park were closed to allow for tree removal. The dead trees from the 2020 fire are a hazard both for future fires and falling unexpectedly. The Moro Rock trail was one of the closed areas. They have a trail with steps and handrails all the way to the top of this huge granite dome. Of course I wouldn't have made it up the 350 steps even if it wasn't closed. The fire damage is significant but things do seem to be coming back. The Sequoia bark acts as an insulation and can be up to 12 inches thick. We found a piece on the ground that was probably 1 ft by 2 ft and it weighed nothing. These trees are truly majestic, you have to be a long way away from them to get a photo of the whole tree. We took all the pullouts in the forest to get an up close look a them. We walked the General Sherman trail, the trail was easy but steep. The General Sherman tree stands 275ft tall and is 36 ft in diameter. It is the world's largest tree by volume. Incredible. We also drove into the bottom corner of the Kings Canyon NP to visit the General Grant tree. I was surprised by how small the pine cones are and, in turn, how small the seeds of the sequoia are. How can these giants come from something so small? The General Grant tree is the 3rd largest tree in the world. We drove home thru some ranch country and saw a few turkeys. It was a good day.
Wednesday, we took a different route up to Kings Canyon National Park. We stopped at the Blue Ridge Vista Point overlook and I noticed a couple there, one was holding some kind of antenna. Turns out they were tracking a Fisher, a small mammal that looks like a weasel. We never saw it but the signal was there. We drove to the Chicago Stump. It was a few miles down a dirt forest road and then down a short trail. It was very cool. I was a little worried about bears in the area but we didn't see or hear anything. The Chicago stump is all that remains of a tree that was felled to take to the 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago. They cut the tree 50 feet up then hollowed out 14 foot sections to be re-assembled at the fair. The ironic thing was that no one believed the tree could be that big and it was called the California Hoax. Next stop was the Vista Point of Hume Lake. It was a beautiful spot overlooking the lake and the dam. The dam is one of those interesting arched construction dams. We drove all the way to the end of the Generals Highway (a.k.a Hwy 180). We saw a group of first responders doing water rescue drills in the river. It was a beautiful drive. We ended the day with dinner at Dora's Restaurant.
Thursday, we visited the Tulare County Museum over in Visalia. On the way there we passed a work truck with a license plate that was perfect, FIXNNIT. The museum had an awesome display of Native American woven baskets. I need to learn how to do this...like I need another hobby. The museum is in a nice park and I know that I heard a peacock outside. They had a great display of farm equipment. There were many other exhibits of everyday life in Visalia and the farming communities around it. Next I tried to find some fabric but the store was more of a clothing fabric store. We had lunch at the Kaweah Brewing Co. Taproom, the burgers were awesome and the beer was good too. We ended the day with a grocery stop. Another good day.
Friday, we decided to visit the first visitor center on the way into Sequoia Nat. Park since we skipped it the other day. On the way there we say a helicopter hovering over the lake and realized they were practicing water rescues. They definitely had an audience. The road work had us stopped anyway so everyone was watching them. There were quite a few people at the boat launch who were also watching the show. The exhibits at the welcome center were cool. I got to hear the call of the Gambel's quail when we came outside. There were three of them talking to each other and it was a wild sound. As we headed back out of the park we saw another helicopter that we think was practicing equipment lifting. We took a drive up a dirt road, Mineral King Road, toward the Lookout Point entry to the park. We made it a few miles up the road before turning around. That entrance is currently closed so we were just killing time. The road started to get pretty narrow so after we spotted a little waterfall and some old sluice equipment we decided we'd seen enough. Next we tried to visit the Three Rivers Historical Museum but they were closed. I did take a couple photos of the Paul Bunyan statue outside. He was carved in 1941 from a single log.