In Act One: A journey begins with a step, I wrote about the beginning of the trip.
The Sequoia RV Ranch in Three Rivers, CA was the perfect spot to act as home base for our excursions to Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. The map looks somewhat like the state of Michigan reversed. These two parks are intertwined and provided us with days of hikes and amazing drives.
Okay, I thought the drives were amazing. Others in the car, I think were a little more leery about the steep drops off the passenger side of the road. And my granddaughter was a bit queasy with all the switchback turns in the road. But even with the tight grips on available handholds in the van, everybody enjoyed the sights at the end of the ride.
If you want a sense of awe, walk among the giant sequoias, climb to the top of Moro Rock, or listen to one of the waterfalls that you will find.
If you plan to bring a canine companion, remember that you cannot leave the dog unattended in a vehicle and they are not allowed on the trails. However there are pretty little flowers where they are allowed.
The General Sherman tree is the largest tree, by volume, in the world. It is followed by the General Grant tree as the 2nd largest. Both of these trees were growing well before the arrival of the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock. Many of the trees have scars from fires, yet they still live and grow. The bark is thick enough to protect them.
If you want to drive the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, plan to spend the most of the day. The drive climbs to over 6000 feet and back down to the valley near the end of the road. Along the way, take time to stop at Grizzly Bear Falls and Roaring River Falls. Both are near to the road, and have parking. A new fact I learned is that Kings Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
The drive into Sequoia National Park winds even more than the drive in Kings Canyon. I think our average speed up and down was about 10 miles per hour. On the journey, you will pass Tunnel Rock, which the road at one time passed beneath. Now, you just pass it by, but the old road remains. As the road twists and turns, Moro Rock appears and vanishes. When I saw this, I knew that I wanted to climb to the top. Lucky for me that there is a trail, so I wouldn’t need to actually “climb”. With 400 plus steps, take along a water bottle and go slow. The path is narrow at times and crowded with people. The view at the top will take your breath away. However, the altitude may also play a part.
Sequoia RV Ranch had a nice little river with a swimming hole.
However we could not stay the entire week. We moved on to the Visalia / Sequoia National Park KOA. They have a nice pool and playground that the kids liked. From here we ventured out to the town on Exeter. Exeter was once the gateway to the Sequoia National Park. It is a quaint little town. At some point, somebody started to paint murals on the walls of buildings. We walked about the town looking at building walls. There are also many shops with antiques, for those so inclined.
The week flew by and soon it was time to start our homeward bound trip.