Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun in the car!

8-15-2013  Midpines
Today was a busy day of running around. We got up late and took a long bus ride to Merced. We found a real taco stand and enjoyed a nice lunch. We also picked up our rental car, shopped for lots of food and drove back to Midpines. I don't know if it's a good idea to rent new cars. Now Esther wants a new car with a touch screen and lots of buttons.It even connected to her phone.
Esther in a New Car

It was nice to buy more than you can carry on a bike though. It was hot in the valley; high 90’s would be my guess. It made the ice tea taste real good. Tomorrow we are off to Kings Canyon and the Sequoia National Park.

8-16-2013  Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park

We packed the car with all our stuff (Lots of it!) and headed south to see two more National Parks. We are going to drive an arc-shaped route thru both parks, entering from the north on CA Rt. 180. We first headed to the Kings Canyon Visitor Center and asked for some suggestions. We then drove north to the Old Kings Canyon Lodge, then back south into Sequoia along the Generals highway. I must say we were so happy to do the climb into the park along Rt. 180 in a car! It was a really steep and long climb up and over to the lodge. We stopped at a vista called the Junction View and enjoyed the view.
Front Porch of the Kings Canyon Lodge

Old Gas Pumps at the Lodge (One was Unleaded!)

Kings River Canyon from the Junction Viewpoint

Next we stopped to see the General Grant Tree, the third largest tree in the world. These Sequoia trees are so large they don’t photograph well. We tried.

General Grant Grove

General Grant Tree

Large Sequoia Log

Inside a Large Sequoia Log

Next we headed into Sequoia National Park to see the largest tree (or for that matter, the largest living thing!) on earth. The General Sherman tree is 2200 years old and 274 feet high.

General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree Base ..

And Looking Up

All of these really large and old trees grow near here, and they are really something to see in these groves.
The Road Splits to go Through a Grove of Sequoias

The final eye popping feature today was the descent out of Sequoia along CA Rt. 189. The road drops several thousand feet down a twisty road for miles and miles. Again we were glad to be in a car. We finally got down to Visalia by dark and got a room.
Looking West from the Eleven Ridges Viewpoint

CA Rt. 189 Twists and Drops going West.

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