NOV 4, WEDNESDAY: SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
Rain again overnight, heavy at times as it woke me up a couple times. It is sunny now @ 8 am. No bears in the tree, I checked! We headed up to the Park by 10 am; the road had lots of curves but nothing serious. We arrived at the Park entrance, 5 miles away and paid our entrance fee but had to return a couple miles back as we needed chains even though we were driving a four-wheel drive. So we did as we had no choice and returned to the Park 20 minutes later and $60 poorer for the rental. We began climbing slowly while following a small creek then we turned into the mountains and we began a steep, tortuous and long climb to over 6000 feet from 1500 feet. The views along the way were absolutely a marvel and we kept being reminded of our drives in the Philippines a few years back. We finally saw the Sequoia trees AND SNOW. They grow between 5500 to 6500 feet and only in this park of North America. There were lots and the road wandered between them, up and down. It was near impossible to drive and sightsee so we stopped a lot. At one point, the road split because of the Giants and it made a great place to take pictures. We stopped of course. We stopped at a museum that was still open and looked around then went on deeper and higher in the Park. We stopped at the SHERMAN TREE and walked around. This is the biggest but not the oldest Sequoia tree in the Park and it was beautiful. There was a nice, well-kept trail to it and of course lots of other Sequoias. We took pictures and continues on our adventure. We stopped at LODGEPOLE VISITOR CENTRE which was closed then at the WUSACHI LODGE (7300 feet) which was open and we had a cup of coffee here and walked around a bit. It was cold but tolerable in my shorts and jacket. Most of all the side road trips were closed due to the snow and our trip ended at WUSACHI because the road was closed beyond here due to the recent fires and unstable side hills and rock slides. Too bad because we wanted to drive to KINGS CANYON. Another time I guess!
After our coffees, we drove back to the Park Entrance and took more pictures. We stopped part way down and had our lunch that we had packed up. The Jeep was in second gear in places due to the steepness and length. We got back down safely, stopped to returned the chains which we didn’t need and went home!
WOW is all I can say about this day. It was impressive, inspiring and awesome! We enjoyed every minutes and miles of this journey.