Monday, March 31, 2014

Sequoia National Forest

The previous post was supposed to be about our trip to Sequoia National Park. Once I started writing I found myself going a new direction.  My intention was to encourage everyone to take advantage of each duty station you live in. No excuses. By the end, it was a bit more personal and I may have not made any sense. You will have to go check that out if you missed it. It's a goodie. Ha ha.

Today I will try with all my might to keep the post about our little trip. A trip to see trees. Wow in print that makes us sound very exciting! But they aren't ordinary trees. Sequoias only grow in California. They are the biggest and the oldest trees in the entire world. What's four hours in a car? Did I mention there were three kids and a dog in that car? Ei-yi-yi! How does one manage such energy? Buy a boat load of junk food and let them have free rein. Surprisingly or not, it works. So our trip up was pleasant. By the time we got to Three Rivers it was mid afternoon. We stopped off along the Kawaeh River/Lake and hiked along the banks. Beautiful.

Next, we headed into the Sequoia National Park just to see how far we could make it. The ranger at the gate told us it was snowing up at the Giant (Sequoia) Forest and we would need chains. We had chains but hubby really didn't want to put them on. We decided to drive as far as we could without and turn around. We would get a hotel and head back up the following day.

Thursday morning we headed up to the Giant Forest. A steep climb up to 8000 plus feet. Not a drive for super paranoid people with big imaginations. Mudslide, earthquake, dysfunctional brakes, faulty steering systems, crazy drivers. You know just your normal everyday happenings! All worth it when you get to the top. The first glimpse was breathtaking. Most of the Sequoias in the Giant Forest are over 200 feet tall. 20-30 feet wide. The bark up to 31 inches thick. 2000-3000 years old. My brain cannot process these numbers.

The trees alone were enough but then God had to go and sprinkle snow all over the branches and ground. Four inches of the whitest, cleanest, untouched snow. I felt like I stepped into the set of Narnia.  I'm walking around in absolute awe, taking pictures, and talking to myself about how amazing the trees are. All whilst, my kids and husband are engaged in an all out snowball fight. Just a typical family outing with my crew.

They did stop for pictures now and again. Who can blame them? They live in the desert. The only snow they see is in the freezer section at the commissary. And that is just gross when they try to put that in their mouth. And by try I mean when Derrick puts the icy crap in his mouth. That's my kid!

We weren't expecting snow. Little did we know there was less snow than normal up there. We lucked out to be able to get up to the Giant Forest. Typical annual snowfall is 200 inches. This year they have had 61 inches total. The moral of the story is go to Sequoia National Park mid April through October. Any other time you chance not being able to get up the mountain and the hiking trails being closed. We were only able to hike at the foothills near the entrance of the park. Very short river trails.

On the way down we stopped at the Giant Forest Museum and Hospital Rock. Both are must see sights. After leaving the park, we headed back to the river. I think the kids were more impressed by the river than the trees. Reminds me of the cardboard box on Christmas fascination. Kids are so strange.


  1. Incredible pictures!! It seems like your family has a lot of fun! :)

  2. Wow that looks amazing!! I would love to visit there!

  3. This looks like SO much fun! I would love to see this in person!! Maybe someday. :)

  4. I imagine that was a sight to see. I've often tried to visualize those numbers and like you, my brain cannot process it.

  5. What a beautiful place! It really is amazing to me how huge those trees are.

  6. Those views are breath taking!!! Our family has also decided to take advantage of our duty station here this Spring and enjoy Boston....or at least TRY to. lol.