It’s interesting how different Molly and my mother’s/father’s days are from each other. She has a very set routine for hers: Prasino in the morning, the Garfield Park Conservatory, and finally Margie’s Candies before relaxing at home in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t ever done the same thing on father’s day twice, and they’re usually pretty drastically different. A few years ago on Road Trip I we spent the day in Las Vegas, then we were in Disney World, and now Sequoia National Park.
The day started with Father’s Day brunch at the Holiday Inn. I’m not exactly sure why we got this brunch, we weren’t supposed to. My best guess is that when they saw us drag in the cart full of Cheerios, crackers, bread, peanut butter, and other miscellaneous hiking food they must have decided that we looked like we needed a real meal. It wasn’t quite the Wynn, but it did get the day off to a nice start.
Pretty much as soon as we started driving Molly became very concerned about Bob. He’s had a loose engine shield for several years now and the pieces of it that remain are held in place with a hodgepodge of zip-ties, duck tape, and wire. Being a non-vital piece we have generally just strapped it back on and kept moving. Noticing a fruit stand ahead Mol pulled off the road and I examined Bob and once again tucked in what I could. We also took advantage of the opportunity to buy some excellent local plums, oranges, and apples.
After winding through the mountains for an hour or so we finally arrived at the parking lot for the General Sherman tree. It’s claim to fame is that it is the biggest tree by volume in the world. Not the tallest, not the widest, not the oldest. It’s kind of like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison of trees. Impressive on its own, but perhaps a bit over hyped by humans.
After doing about 2 miles of paved and somewhat busy trails we decided to turn the hike into a bit more of one and diverted onto the Alta trail. Being alone in the giant forest was a pretty cool experience. We truly felt dwarfed by the forest around us. One of the most interesting things to me was the lack of undergrowth that had been present in other forests. There was a clear line of sight all around or for most of the hike, making the trees seem even more imposing
I’m sure that the others have written about the squirrel that we saw fall out of the tree so I feel completed to tell my version of the story. What we all agree on is that something fell out of a tree and landed only a couple feet away from us. The girls argument is that since there was no further movement after the initial crash it must have been a stick. However, at this particular location there was a dense bush that the object crashed into and I feel that a squirrel would have been just as likely as a stick to NOT move after falling several hundred feet.
After riding the shuttle bus back to our car (we’d hiked quite a ways downhill and decided that we’d rather not do the uphill portion) we had some lunch and drove to the Lodgepole Visitor Center where we had intended to complete a second hike. However, after studying the map we realized that we were nearly at King’s Canyon NP and that we could very easily do a hike there instead to check another park off the list.
I started driving, but realized very quickly that it was time for my afternoon nap, so Mol and I traded positions. I gave her directions to the King’s Canyon Visitor Center and promptly fell asleep. The next thing I knew, we were leaving King’s Canyon. Apparently we had missed the turn off for the hiking trails, oh well.
Our return route to Visalia was a bit of an adventure in it’s own right. The highway we choose was mountainous, curvy, and slow. Probably one of our biggest accomplishments of the trip was making it all the way back to the hotel with no one throwing up. M, Z, and E were all really close though.
The afternoon was another one spent at the pool, followed by yet another Baja Fresh run.
Thanks to M, Z, and E for the fabulous day, and fun presents!