Tuesday, September 3, 2019

This long weekend, we have decided to escape Silicon Valley and see two of the National Parks that Smarty and I haven't seen yet - Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. Smarty was beyond herself with joy when we told her of our impromptu plan - she wrote a report on Sequoia National Park last year for her geography class and really wanted to see it. There was one disadvantage in this short term planning - every lodging in the park was booked, so we had to stay almost 90 minutes out in Visalia.
On our first day, we drove through Kings Canyon National Park that actually connects to Sequoia National Park. We saw Kings Canyon's most famous tree - The General Grant Tree. Then we paid homage to the largest tree in the world - The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia Park. We hiked to the tree and back to the parking lot, the trip that took about an hour, and then started our long descent to our hotel.
We returned the next day to spend more time in Sequoia National Park. Clearly, we were not the only ones who thought it would be a splendid idea to spend the Labor Day weekend here. We were lucky to find a parking spot and then used free shuttles to move around. That worked out well except we had to stand in long lines under the hot sun to get on a shuttle. Still, we managed to see the main highlights of the park except for The Crystal Cave. Well, now we have an excuse to come back :)
It's hard to capture the size of a sequoia tree in the pictures. They are simply gigantic. But... we are spoiled living so close to coastal redwood trees. Smarty treated us to a lecture on differences between sequoias and redwoods but, in all honesty, sequoias don't look that much more majestic than redwoods. Still, Smarty was in paradise despite the heat (so much for the weather forecast of 68 degrees, it was actually closer to 80), crowds, and long rides to and from the hotel. It was really great to see her so engaged in this trip - we are joking that we need to have her write 2,000-word essays more often about various locations to get her fully on board with our travel plans.

Your Turn

What was your most recent travel destination?


MaryAnne said...

Sounds like a great outing despite the heat and crowds! Studying something really can enrich a visit, just like kids get more interested in topics they can tie into their personal experience.

Ticia said...

Most recently, Iowa....

Someday I want to go see the sequoias.