We leave for Sequoia NP at 7:30 am. So far it is pretty easy getting up early as we are used to being 3 hours ahead of Pacific time. It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the park. We stopped first at the Foothills Visitor Center so PTCC could get her Jr Ranger book and CC could buy his souvenir pin. There we found out that there was still a lot of snow in the park and several areas were still closed or not advised to go into. We will miss the tunnel tree since that road is closed. PTCC got to work right away on her book and we also looked around the visitor center. There are 4 main visitor centers and they each explain a different area of the park. We start out our drive on the Generals Highway so called because it connects the General Sherman and General Grant Sequoia Trees. It is about 47 miles long through the park. Along the road we can see the Middle Fork Kaweah River and we are fascinated because it has rapids all through it, something we don’t see everyday in FL. We stop several times in the pull outs to take pictures. Eventually we come up behind a car that is stopped and we wonder why until we look at the side of the road and see an American Black bear. Funny they are called that when they are actually more a light brown color. We were enjoying watching the bear until an idiot pulled up behind us and starting honking his horn and scared the bear away. Maybe he didn’t read the park brochure that said If you’re in a hurry don’t bother coming here.
As we come around another bend we see Moro Rock. It looks a lot like Half Dome in Yosemite. We can see it for miles as we go around a million curves on the road. A road worker that stopped us because they are repaving the road told us that there are stairs that you can walk up to the top. We did not explore that option as all the trails were very icy from the recent snowstorm. After being waved on we move on to the Giant Forest Museum. This is another visitor center with the giant sequoia ‘The Sentinel’ right in front of it. On the pavement outside the door they have tiles that simulate how tall the tree is and where you are while you are walking on the tiles. The first branches start at about 120 ft up. Inside the center we see a picture of what happens when a branch (not the whole tree) falls on a car. It was totaled. Unfortunately there was so much snow and we didn’t come prepared to walk around in it we didn’t get to walk the Congress Trail. PTCC was extremely disappointed because she wanted to jump into the snow and play. So we continued our drive up to the General Sherman tree where it was chaos trying to park. Cars were parked everywhere as well as those rental RV’s that all the Europeans seem to rent to see America. We finally finagle a space and start to walk to the General Sherman tree. The path was slippery and full of snow and ice. We did get to walk through a tunnel tree to get there. We get there and wait about 15 minutes to take our pictures since some Germans were acting like they were professional photographers and taking WAY TOO LONG to take their been here, done that shots. We get someone to take our family shot then we move on to Lodgepole Visitor Center to have lunch. This Visitor center is closed right now so the area wasn’t crowded at all. In fact the most people we have seen so far were at General Sherman.
After lunch we finish the drive up to Kings Canyon to see the General Grant tree. We are able to walk around the whole loop this time and get to see the Tennessee tree and the California tree that has burned from the inside out. We then go over to the Fallen Monarch to get pictures. I have PTCC sit in the same place I did when I was 3 and visited the park and I take her picture. Then we go to the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for PTCC to turn in her Jr Ranger book and be awarded her badge. Then on back home.
The temperature up in the canyons was around 50 degrees with snow up to 12 feet deep in places but when we get back to the RV it is 85 degrees and PTCC wants to go into the pool. So we change and head over. Lucky for us we picked the days we did. The manager says tomorrow they have to drain the entire pool for an inspection of the new drains. We also meet a couple from Ohio that has just come from Yosemite so we ask them about the weather and travel into the canyon. This has been bothering CC for some time so he really wants to be reassured about the route he has chosen to take into Yosemite. Tomorrow we get to have a late start finally.