Road Adventures’ last trip of 2019 was to the famous Sequoia National Park. This was the first time visiting the park for over half of our participants, and it was to be a great experience. Before heading into the southern part of the park, we made a slight detour to visit Allensworth State Historic Park. This park contains an old pioneer settlement that became a ghost town when the water ran out. The place was a fun trip to the past and the grounds keeper allowed the group into three of the buildings, the school, church, and the founder’s home.
After Allensworth Town, we started the first leg of the drive sections, heading into the mountains toward another ghost town, Silver City Ghost Town. Once there, we visited the town’s collection of regional buildings which have been saved from the gold rush days. These buildings included some buildings from the town of Isabella, which is now under the water of Lake Isabella. By the time we finished exploring this area, it was lunch time. Therefore, we stopped at the local brewery for some grub before starting out on the next leg of the trip.
After a short drive, we stopped at the trail of 100 Giants to see our first glimpse of the impressive sequoia tress. This was the first time seeing these tress for most of the group. To say these trees were impressive is an understatement. The sequoias, while not as tall as the redwoods, are much wider. In many ways, this makes them seem even more impressive, as it is difficult to believe a tree could possibly grow that big. The last part of the day was a fun drive back to base camp. This drive had some twists and turns on some very tight roads, and it was a blast to drive. Despite hitting a little traffic, this was a great drive.
The second day focused on exploring the main area of the park. Heading in through the south gate, we started hitting all the major items. Our first stop in the park was at the Indian stones, where past Native American tribes left petroglyphs and paintings. Next was Mono Rock trail. Only a few brave group members ventured to the top of this rock, where they were rewarded with awesome views of the southern valley. Those who were not up for the narrow and steep hike stayed at ground level and explored the lower trail near the rocks. Of course, before we headed to the trees, we all did the famous drive through Tree Tunnel. Following a lunch stop at The Village, we made our way to the two most famous trees in the park. The first of these was General Sherman. As with seeing the trees the days before, General Sherman was massive and awe inspiring. The last major stop was to see General Grant, and all the other tress in the grove, before heading back to base camp.
The last day was spent exploring the north part of the park and into Kings Canyon. This was intended to be a shorter day, as to allow people to make their way home. The drive into the canyon was a blast and it was amazing to see beauty of the canyon walls. Sadly, the day was cut short when one of the cars blew out a tire. The group graciously worked together to help, transporting participants, making phone calls and waiting around while the tire was repaired. Despite the last day’s “oops,” the trip was a great experience and one that we will definitely need to do again in a few years.