Kings Canyon NP to Sequoia NP
Sequoia National Park Travel Blog› entry 147 of 167 › view all entries
9.21.08 Kings Canyon NP to Sequoia NP
Another beautiful day! We saw both the worldâ€™s largest tree (the Sherman Tree) and the worldâ€™s second largest tree (the General Grant Tree) in the beautiful parks. And we had our â€śmoments.â€ť
We left Kings Canyon NP today after first visiting to Roadâ€™s End and several gorgeous waterfalls: Grizzly and Roaring Rapids
Then we attempted to see the Converse Grove and the Boole Tree.
Let me just say that there are few places that Ciao Baby cannot go. We found one of those places today. Afterward, I awarded myself a â€śLightbulb Awardâ€ť for a *really bright idea* (NOT).
First, although the road to the Boole Tree is marked on the map as a dirt road, it never advised against RVâ€™s or oversized vehicles, as it did for several other roads. It also never said that it was a one-lane road with hairpin turns that required beeping the horn nearly continuously so we didnâ€™t smash into anyone.
But we did fine on that rather stressful road for two miles to the Converse Grove.
Yes, our trouble came with the ill-fated decision to continue the half mile up the turnoff. Now Iâ€™m telling you that if you have a â€śturnoffâ€ť from a terrible road, you should just stop there because it is only going to get worse.
We took the hill of red sand at a good speed so we wouldnâ€™t get stuck. Then we realized that the trees were closing in, we couldnâ€™t see how bad the road was over the hill, and that if we continued, we could get terribly stuck in the deep, rutted sand. I could just imagine explaining to AAA Road Service where I was located.
So we stopped right there near the top of the sand hill and a huge cloud of dust from our efforts blew from behind, temporarily blinding us.
Back down. Thatâ€™s right. We backed right down the hill at a rather brisk speed so we could get over a hill in the middle and out of the sand before getting stuck. It was a fair distance, the farthest Iâ€™ve ever had to back up. We made it without falling off the road or running into anything!
The motorcycle guy, whoâ€™d been watching these antics from Converse Grove just below, had wisely moved out of the roadway as we came flying backward down the hill. I stopped Ciao beside him and said, â€śNow *that* was a BAD idea.
We still had to turn around before we could get out of there, and there was just one sandy, narrow place. We went backward over it, then forward. Back- tried to go forward- weâ€™re spinning wheels! Stop before we spin a hole up to the axel! Back a little more, and then we pulled forward - out of there! Hallelujah! 2 miles on the bumpy, dirt, one-lane, hairpin turns, horn-blowing road, then back to the main road, and about an hour before the shakes left my hands. Whew! Iâ€™ll have post-traumatic nightmares over that one, Iâ€™m sure.
Let it be known that I just read the above account to Charles, my co-pilot at the time, and he agreed that none of it was exaggerated.
By comparison, the
The Rangers had made such a big deal about that road yesterday, saying things like â€śItâ€™s only one and half lanesâ€ť and â€śsome people get stuck as they cannot make the turnsâ€ť that I was cautious. But today when a Ranger asked how long Ciao is, I told her, â€śjust a wee bit over 22 feetâ€ť and it was just fine.
So the driving and the enormous Sequoia trees were the excitement of our day. The Parks are just beautiful and when we went to Lodgepole Campground to assess availability (plenty of room tonight), they said we were welcome to use the dump station (free) and look around. In doing so, we met another Lazy Dazer, Chuck from CA, who has a 2005 Mid-bath the same colors as Ciao Baby. Of course, since we havenâ€™t washed Ciao since Haines, Alaska (!), she is not looking her best and Iâ€™m embarrassed for all our Lazy Daze friends to see her. Still, it is worth stopping to meet new friends.
Oh, we also had a 10-minute wait while the firefighters burned a â€śtree lineâ€ť along the road.
Anyway, the one lane road leading past the smoking roadside fire, fire trucks, and firefighters was eerie. It renewed our respect for firefighters. We had the windows closed and were complaining of the smell while they were outside, breathing in that acrid air without any breathing aides. We were also stunned by how little we could see with all the smoke. I cannot imagine how they can battle a fire in that environment where you cannot even see the sun during the day.
We are camped tonight in the southern campground in Sequoia, called Potwisha, and it is thankfully now an sparsely populated, non-weekend night.
Ciao Baby crossed 118,000 miles on the odometer today!