Tuesday, September 2, 2014


One of our two bigger trips over summer was going to Sequoia National Park. I had been against going on any longer trips this summer at first and then I was shamed by a Russian girl who is friends with some of my friends that were here for Leo's baby blessing: she told me how many National Parks she had been to (again, she lives in Russia and is only 16) and asked why I hadn't been to any since they're all so close. I couldn't let that slide so Johann asked at the perfect time if I'd be willing to go to Sequoia since it was a bit closer than some others.

I'm so glad we went. We spent 36 hours doing exactly what we needed and what the kids needed-running around in nature together. It was incredibly beautiful and I hope we can go back or continue to hit a National Park as often as possible.

And now for too many pictures.

Ready to roll

We got inside the park and to a picnic spot around 1pm and stopped for lunch.

After lunch we did a really, really easy trail that was around Crescent Meadow.

 Crescent Meadow is known as 'The Gem of the Sierras' and I can absolutely see why. I could have stayed there the rest of the day.

We continued on the trail and saw some big, beautiful Sequoias,

and a big beautiful bear and her cub. We didn't get a picture of the cub.

I was mostly terrified seeing the bear and turned away pretty quickly and kept waving at Johann to get his bum back over. I am glad he stayed long enough to get a picture to remember it by though. It was amazing to see one after only being there a few hours. 

 We made our way back to the car and headed out of the park to have dinner and check in to the motel for the night.

 (Moro Rock)

There weren't many hotel options and we couldn't pay for an entire cabin but we found a well rated place called the Lazy J Ranch in Three Rivers just outside the park. When Johann told me there were goats I decided it would either be fantastic or horrible. So happy it was the former. 
You get your own little bungalow which I loved. The cooling system wasn't that great and it's not really updated or anything great inside but I really did love it. 

 (the view out back)

The other views out back...

The kids love, love, loved petting the sheep and goats and running around behind the bungalow. It was fun to see how much they loved it. After checking out the goats and sheep we took the kids for a swim in the pool and were joined by a nice older couple also staying there. If we ever go back I'd like to try staying in one of the cabins or lodges in the park just for time sake (getting in and out of the park took about an hour) but if not, I would have no problem staying at the Lazy J again. 

 The next morning we had breakfast then set out for our last day in the park.

 (On our drive entering the park)

On the road inside the park Johann slammed on the breaks and I saw what I thought at first was a dog running across the road and then realized it was a bear cub, followed by another bear cub. It was pretty awesome. 

We wanted to see the Tokopah Falls that day and went to it's trail head only to realize it was 1.7 miles in and 1.7 back and that with how tired the kids already were from the day before, there was no way their little legs were going to make it in time and no way we could carry them. Instead we went a little ways in and played in the stream for a good long while. I think the kids could have stayed there to play all day.

On our way out from the trail we spotted another bear, this time it was not quite a cub but also not fully grown. We managed to see two bears and three bear cubs total, oh and a deer while there. It was horrifyingly spectacular. Dorothea continually asked for "more bear!"

We drove over to Kings Canyon and saw a bunch of cattle just hanging out, grazing but sadly the kids missed it because they were asleep.
Once we were there we looked around a bit then stopped at a restaurant there for lunch.
After lunch we looked around a beautiful area by the restaurant with flowers as tall as Thea.

We drove around and got out at a couple places in Kings Canyon like the tree you could walk through and the General Grant tree.

 (The General Grant tree-also known as America's Christmas tree...)

Finally we headed back over to Sequoia and made the little hike to see the General Sherman tree. It was pretty incredible. 

Once we had gotten back from the Sherman tree we changed the kids into their pjs and set off for our late night drive. I took this last picture as we left so we could remember what I dubbed, "Rhino Rock" across the from Moro Rock. Even with just a 6 and 2 year old who can talk and the baby we still had a lot to talk about, about what we saw and thought-it was such a good trip and I'm hopeful our next nature adventure will be just as rewarding.

1 comment:

Maren and Patrick said...

That picture of the bear is crazy! I would have been terrified. What a fun trip. We definitely want to hit up the California national parks now that R is old enough to enjoy them but haven't gotten around to it yet. You have such a cute family!