Friday, April 20, 2012

Kings Canyon, Sequoia Redwood Trees, and a Bear

After a fairly leisurely morning we hit the road for Kings Canyon around 10 a.m.  The RV Park manager told us about a back roads way to go to avoid the construction in Sequoia National Park that could delay us for up to two hours.  What he did not tell us was that this back roads way was truly a back roads way to go.  The road did not have a yellow stripe down it to divide the two traffic lanes, and at times the road could only fit one vehicle at a time.  Of course, we were just in our HHR, which is not that big.  The route took us from Three Rivers down to the bottom of the reservoir, up the other side of the reservoir and on to Badger California where we hooked up with a highway that took us to the highway which connects Fresno and Kings Canyon National Park.  Overall the route was full of blossoming flowers, including the California Poppy and many, just starting to bloom, Blue Oak Trees.  The Blue Oak Tree was in sharp contrast to the other trees which had already bloomed.  For awhile we thought that they were dead, but a closer look and we can see green just starting to pop out along the tops of some.  It looked a bit eery at times, and the Ranger in Kings Canyon told us what they were.  Although we did not get any pictures of the Blue Oaks, we did get a picture of some of the color we saw along the way.
And as we got closer to the Park entrance, we started to see snow along the sides of the road.
And at one stop, the dogs probably were thinking that that desert land was looking pretty good just about now....

After we purchased our life-time pass to the National Parks, and we all took care of business, we headed off to see that part of Kings Canyon that was open to vehicles.  Here is the best overlook that we found, showing where the middle and south forks of Kings River meet.
 Here is a closer view the merge below
After that, it was off to see the Big Sequoia Redwood Trees.  We had been driving through various groves of trees to get to Kings Canyon lookout area, but we had not stopped to see how large they really are. 
One thing I knew about the Redwoods is that it is hard to take a picture and bring in the perspective of how large and magnificent the tree truly is.
This is the same tree from a bit closer, but you still can't see how BIG it really is.  If I had Skruffy sitting on top of Bubba, you still would not be able to make them out because I am too far away from the tree in order to get the entire tree in the shot.
Above is one with cars in the foreground.  This tree is at least 40-50 yards away from the vehicles, and it still dwarfs them.
Above is one from closer....so close I can't get the bottom nor the top of the tree in the picture.  Look at the width of the tree trunk, and compare it to the other trees in the back ground.
Above is the General Grant tree, which is the second largest tree known to exist by volume on the planet.  The largest is General Sherman, which is in Sequoia National Park, and we plan to see it tomorrow.

While at the ranger station I inquired about the road construction.  I was told that they stopped work at 6 am this morning, won't start back up until after the weekend, so we could have gone up to Kings Canyon through Sequoia after all...so we decided to go back to Three Rivers that way even though we will back track tomorrow to see some of the stops, such as the General Sherman Tree.

We came around a corner, following a UPS truck of all things, and two cars were stopped right in the road looking a Sequoia tree.  UPS truck started to go around, but stopped too...that is when I saw it....a bear had made this Sequoia its home, and had stuck its head out to look around.
As we were able to drive by, it had gone inside the "cave", but here is what this bear called home.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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