Friday, August 10, 2012

Sequoia National Park - Day 2

Well, that was a rousing and creative title, wasn't it? It's funny to look back on our little camping trip and realize how much we really did. As usual, I reflect on it and marvel at how I managed to push my children to the brink of their abilities...their mental abilities if not their physical ones. It's no great wonder they get so frustrated with me. My parents never made me do stuff like this at eight or ten. I'm pretty sure.
But the kids seemed a little jealous of my evening trip to Moro Rock. I told them it was no big deal. There's a parking lot right at the bottom of the stairs. It probably took me no more than 20 minutes to get up there. They wanted to go. So, as soon as the morning pancakes were cleaned up, we headed right back to where I'd been the night before.
It looked a lot different in the morning light, actually. You could even see the glaciers on the mountains of the Great Western Divide.
Even with the kids, it was a pretty quick trip. I thought we'd do that, then go back to the campsite for lunch, but it was far from lunchtime by the time we got back to the bottom. We opted instead for a nice little flat hike around another meadow.
It was a lovely meadow, but I don't even remember what motivated me to stop at this particular spot. It was such a great stop though! There were more butterflies.
There were more big, beautiful trees.
There were some cool black and gold-colored moths.
There were more beautiful flowers.
There was a giant sequoia devouring a large boulder.
And just when it seemed like we'd had a nice walk, but it was all the same ol' same ol' impossibly beautiful stuff, we ran across this guy:
who we dubbed "itchy bear" because he sat there scratching his belly for probably 10 minutes without a whole lot of concern about the people gawking at him. It was easily the best bear sighting of the trip.

We did finally make it back to the campsite for lunch. And after lunch, we set out on the trail out of the campground to the nearby waterfall, Tokopah Falls. It was hot, but it was a really nice hike through the rocky forest with beautiful views of the Sentinal rock above us.

It got rockier as we got towards the falls...and hotter hiking around on the granite.
Tokopah Falls often looks like this:
At least that's what I glean from the internet. It looked nothing like that on our visit. The sign warning us of certain deadly peril if we passed it was laughable.
But the view from the falls down the valley was nice.
And despite being more than a little green in many spots, the water was still cool and I thought a shower was probably in order (fully clothed as I might've been).
The kids refused to get under the falls, giant torrent as it was and despite the fact that Mam had hiked the whole way in her swimsuit, but at least they cooled their heels for a bit.
By the time we headed back, it was easily time for dinner already. We stopped along the trail for a little snack in the shade and we were treated to a close up visit from a curious buck.
At the same time, Smunch spotted another little critter on a downed tree on the other side of the trail. "Is that a marmot, Mom?"
He'd never seen a marmot. I'd told him only that they look like great big guinea pigs. So, you can imagine that my inner naturalist was beaming with pride.
Another long and lovely day. At least our noisy campground neighbors were gone. We all slept well that night!

No comments: