To the Land of the Giants

Thankfully, today would be short ride, an hour ride from Tulare to the day’s destination, Sequoia National Park.  Sequoia is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time, it’s hard for me to believe that trees could grow to such sizes and now I would have a chance to see them in person.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the ride to the park, I had no idea how many orchards were in this particular area.  Orange, Lemon and Olive groves lined the road for the majority of the ride.  The smell was unbelievable, I couldn’t stop taking huge breaths to inhale as much of the wonderful aroma as possible!!

As I rode nearer to the park, the foothills started to come into view and soon would rise above me on both sides of the road.  Upon entering Three Rivers, CA the mighty Kaweah River appeared, frothing and bubbling over the large rocks in the riverbed.

Through the gates to the park and into the Foothills Visitor’s Center I decided Buckeye Flats Campground would be where I would setup camp for the night.  The hillsides were covered with blooming Yuccas and various wildflowers and the Kaweah was still in view, I eventually found the campground and followed the narrow drive down to the sites.

Apparently, Sunday at check-out time is a good time to arrive to find a great campsite!!  I cruised the loop a couple of times and settled on a huge site overlooking the river.  After setting up, I decided to try to ride up the mountain to get my first glimpse of the big trees.  After about 15 minutes of twisty roads I started riding into the clouds and my faceshield became coated with sleet, time to turn around, the big trees would have to wait until morning.

After returning to camp, I decided to check out the little trail that I saw running through camp to the river.  As I was grabbing some food and getting ready to head out, another motorcyclist pulled up.  Carl from Frazier, CO was exploring back roads around UT, NV, and CA and wondered if I’d mind sharing a campsite (NPS allows two motorcycles per campsite).  The more the merrier (and cheaper) especially when fellow motorcyclists are concerned 🙂

Carl, being a long distance off-road runner, geared up for a trail run as I was heading out to hike the trail.

Campground Trail

The Mighty Kaweah River

Meadow along the trail

One of the many wildflowers along the trail

Random photos from the trail

I learned a very valuable lesson on that little hike…rocks along the river are slippery and cameras smash easily 🙂  I slipped on the trail and fell forward with the front of my nicer point-and-shoot smashing on a rock to the point where the lens would no longer extend.  Bummer, at least I had my extra little cheapo camera and could hold off buying a replacement until Vegas.

While heading back to camp, I felt a slight mist start which opened up into a thunderstorm when I got back into the tent.  The pattering of the rain on my tent and the rumbles of thunder lulled me into a sleep, what better way to spend a rainy evening in the land of the giants?


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