This trip just keeps getting better and better. Last week we got to see the coastal redwoods and now we are going to see the Giant Sequoia Redwoods! As if that wasn’t enough our relationship has been improving as well. We have both become so relaxed and at ease with each other again. Our plan was to head out to see the Grant and Sherman redwood trees, which are the two largest trees in the US and then take a bit of a hike. We left the doggies in the hotel for the day and headed out to see some more of nature in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park!
On our way to the National Park Kenin stopped to pick a fruit. This was one of the things on my list of “30 things to do when turning 30”. I wanted to stop and pick a fruit or vegetable. We pull over, Kenin runs out of the car, and comes back with … an orange!?! Yes, an orange. We are from Florida and drove all the way to California to pick an “exotic” orange. Well, I guess either way, I can now scratch that off the list. He did pick a fruit, and it was delicious, although not an ideal fruit.
Our first mission today was to see Grant’s tree in Sequoia National Park and then stop by Sherman’s tree about 35 miles to the south. Grant’s tree turned out to be amazing. I was surprised how much wider sequoias are than the coastal redwoods. They were absolutely majestic. The only drawback was the fact that the trees were all fenced off and surrounded by tourists. While it was absolutely beautiful it was not very relaxing. We were prepared for a bit of a hike, I even packed a picnic, but the road to Grant’s tree was paved and a little too accommodating. We took the paved loop and went off trail a bit to explore some of the surrounding sequoias.
It was really neat that we could walk through a few old felled trees that had been hollowed out. It was crazy to see a tree that Kenin could walk through without having to crouch down in. After exploring Grant’s grove we decided on a quick change of plans. Instead of driving to see another giant sequoia, we took a drive to the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park.
Kings Canyon National Park did not disappoint. It was a lush canyon originally formed by a receding glacier. There was a huge park area at the entrance, but you could also take a drive to the very bottom. The drive started off at 6000 feet in elevation and went down into the canyon. We followed the road and about 1/2 way down we stopped to have a well deserved picnic.
We were completely alone for miles in the middle of a National Park. It was quite romantic. We spent a while just sitting and talking about how much of this we missed out on, by our own faults. We didn’t take the time to go out and hike or swim in nature. We spent too much time at malls and movies, not enjoying the beauty and peace that being in the wilderness can bring.
After lunch, we continued our drive down into the canyon and made it to the bottom. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking! The road ran alongside a river and we couldn’t resist. Kenin and I went to play in the river. We climbed rocks and waded through the currents. There were no broken toes this time. All was well! I’ve always liked to play in rivers, it reminds me of my childhood in Trinidad. My parents always took me to play in rivers and I guess it stuck.
We then drove to the end of the canyon and stopped to take lots of photos. There are tons of trails and campgrounds all along the river. I would love to camp here one day and my brother-in-law has informed me that we can do this with the woofies.If you drive to the end of the canyon there is a ranger station and you can buy a permit to hike the backcountry. On the way back, we stopped at the general store and bought ice cream. We sat outside, listening to the birds and squirrels and enjoyed our treat.
We left the park early in the evening and weren’t ready to head back to the hotel so we decided to visit a local casino. Our hotel had some flyers for free play for new members, so we took advantage of that. I like casinos. Nothing beats the sounds of all of those slot machines and flashy lights. The smell of coins and food and cigarettes in the air mixed with people yelling out obscenities make casinos a feast for the senses. I parked my can at a slot machine and tuned out the world. We ended $60 up at the end of the night and had free buffet dinners on top of that. The casino detour was deemed a success.
This turned out to be quite an eventful day. Kenin and I were exhausted. We returned to the hotel and took the doggies for a stroll. We quickly showered and turned in for the night. Tomorrow we drive towards Los Angeles. I am not sure how I will fare in the big city after being out in nature for a few days.
Take a look at the whole gallery and please add any comments below!
If you enjoyed Road Trip Diary Day 17 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park you may also like: