King’s Canyon Adventures

Soooooo the 5 1/2 hour drive up wasn’t too bad. We were playing music and singing the whole way. Not so bad.
Unfortunately with the time change within hours, we made it to the Sequoia Highlands Cabins after dark and drove up this twisty turny one-lane road that was mostly gravel, at night. When we got to the main office, Smokey had to have us follow him and Mountain Dog since there was no way we’d find it on our own in the dark. Once we made it, we needed a fire to warm the cold cabin.

pre fire

Our first morning we woke up around 8 and made bacon and eggs (I had chicken noodle soup) with coffee AND mimosas. They just sounded good!

first morning view

After breakfast and avoiding Mountain Dog’s car chasing, we drove to Seqouia & King’s Canyon National Park. Once in the park we started at the Visitors Center at Grants Grove. Of course I checked out the gift shop for later purchases. Our first trek was the 1 mile hike to the General Grant tree. Lots of interesting tree things on the way to seeing him!

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It was then we realized that we might be late to the cave tour we wanted to go on! We didn’t have time to eat and sped to Lodgepole to buy tickets to Crystal Cave! The brochures and rangers warned of the treacherous 30 story descent to get to the gate of the cave. I didn’t know whether my knees would hold out. I didn’t know it wasn’t straight down. It was zig zaggy and I did fine. The tour was lit only by our flashlights. Lots of carved out rock and stalactites and shmalackmites and other sparkly formations! Saw a lovely waterfall on the way back too.

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After caving, we stopped at the nearest restaurant we could find, the Wuksachi Lodge. It was a nice fancy meal for our anniversary. We couldn’t have planned it better. If your ever up this way, The Beast highly suggests the Tamarak Amber Ale. Apparently people around here make reservations since that’s what the girl asked as we entered the completely empty eatery.

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Once again our planning went awry and we ended up getting back tot he cabin IN THE DARK DAMMIT! And at this point I had PBS. Painful Bladder Situation. I had to pee so bad, oh, the gravley road… I was more afraid of a Mountain Lion or a Squatch pouncing on me in my vulnerable crouched state so I held it. We drove fine on the road, but then we had to find the number 8 on our own. We had to evade a sleepy and grumpy Mountain Dog and yes we ended up in a field. A meadow perhaps, but we were lost. At least we could get back to the main road and start over. I don’t know how we found it but after that incident, we have it memorized. Once we made it safely back, we only had the energy for a small fire and then instantly to bed.

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Good morning Mountain Dog! He “greeted” us as we headed back out to the park. We discovered our first fee to get in covered the next 6 days!

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Our first stop on our last day of adventuring was Panoramic Point. It had a map of all the points (the only thing I DIDN’T get a picture of).

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So we drove partially around the top of the park enjoying the Scenic Biway, when the gas light flashes and beeps. I’ve never heard it make THAT noise before! It must be thirst for oil. We crossed our fingers that not only would the King’s Canyon Lodge gas station be open, but that they had the oil we needed. One out of two isn’t bad. They were open but only had one dusty bottle of 500W2,000 oil or something and not the 5W10 that it normally takes. We drove on to end our trip at the Boyden Cavern. We didn’t go on this cave tour but ate our lunches there and turned back.

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With careful planning, we made it home way before dark. We had plenty of time to relax with drinks and listening to music. I practiced some lovely “rail” exercises while The Beast prepared our charcoal BBQ for some steaks. Meat, beans and mashed garlic potatoes. The perfect way to earn back some of the calories we burned off.

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There was a minimal star show (and it was coooold) so we went inside, lit a fire and had yet some more drinks and laughed thinking about this whole trip. So many random things happened that really made it an adventure! This was a great anniversary.

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