Trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park(s?)

They refer to each separately, but only give you one map, thus obfuscating the truth, which is their way.

Went to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park or Parks over the weekend — left Thursday, came back Saturday. Camped for a couple nights. Hiked a little bit, took pictures of trees (see previous post), drove in concentric, ever-widening circles, wore rain pants in anger, used the new generator, and failed to strike up a conversation with a deaf girl from New Hampshire (based on her license plate).

Some photos, not so much of trees this time:

 Marble Falls Trail through Deep Canyon

Note rain gear — the pants were more effective than the jacket. The Marble Fork is the riverlet down below — the falls up above there were cool and flowed over marble, but they were hard to photograph in a way that makes them look appropriately cool. This hike is at lower elevation, so: no snow, no trees.

 My truck in the Grant Grove parking lot, getting snowed on.

Higher elevation, thus: snow, trees. I’m happy for my truck when it gets to do real truck things, like drive in the snow.

 Dinner at Rainy Potwisha Campground

Sure it was too wet to sit down and sure I was eating off of a frying pan with a pocket knife and a spatula, but you have to admit that’s a pretty properly fried medium-rare sirloin.

Potwisha Bear Box

 A bear box at the campsite — sadly, no bears were inside.

 Sequoia National Park Entrance Sign

An Indian head on a sign for a national park named for a Native American of the Iroquois tribe who lived 3,000 miles away from the park, around which is gathered an Indian family, from India, one of whom has just cracked his head open on the black metal arch holding up the sign and is bleeding profusely. 

Good:

  • The last mile of the trail to Marble Falls hike was pretty nice.
  • And I was impressed with myself for taking rain gear in my pack up to the falls since it was really sunny the whole way up. I like impressing myself, although it’s easier to do than it probably should be.
  • I was not responsible for the parks service having to kill any bears (I don’t think).
  • The rural area just to the west of the park (Hwy 180 and Hwy 245) was really pretty with steep green hills and wildflowers — didn’t look anything like California.
  • Slipping around on snow-covered trails to see really big trees is more fun than it probably sounds.
  • Successfully tested my power inverter and generator.
  • The steak was good.
  • I found chocolate Charleston Chews and Full Throttle Fury at the Christian camp general store at Hume Lake.

Bad:

  • The first 2.5 miles of the trail to Marble Falls was full of the same scrubby chaparral that we have in Orange County and that makes me never want to hike here.
  • The Potwisha Campground that I stayed at lacked charm. And the neighbors’ kids lacked boundaries.
  • What with the snow and all, most of the A-grade hiking trails were inaccessible.
  • $18 a night for camping just seems steep to me, especially when you have to spend all your time there worrying about whether or not you’ve hidden all your food from the bears.

The bear boxes are kind of a downer. So long as you’re obeying the rules, you can’t really do stuff like take food with you into the back of your truck that you may or may not eat before falling asleep, for instance. It really had me ticked off that I was having to go so far out of my way to keep the bears from raiding the campsite until I saw what the bears were doing to keep us out of theirs. Boy, do we owe them bears a big ol’ Thank-You.

Good trip, though. Should go again some time when the snow melts and I can hike up to the lakes and waterfalls.

bkd

3 comments

  • DDF

    Wow, we missed out! It’s beautiful there. I can imagine it’ll be even more so in a couple months. I hope you’ll be up for it again. 🙂

  • bkdunn

    I could probly be talked into it — I’d like to go on that Lakes Trail hike some time, for instance, and I feel like I missed out by not getting to wrestle with a black bear this time.

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