Day 27 - I Know What I Like!May 18 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 11 °C
I wasn’t sure if today was going to be an anticlimax after Yosemite. I shouldn’t have worried.
About 9.00am, we wandered down to breakfast, which was effectively in the motel reception. There was coffee, cereal, fruit by the ton & a waffle maker. Jackie made me a waffle & it tasted like cardboard. No more for me on this trip....coffee & fruit.
We shared breakfast with 5 skinny lean guys, one of them told us they had travelled from all corners of the country to climb Sequoias in the National Park. He told us that they competed in National competitions & were American tree (fellas) fellers....Jackie’s joke!
Needing to look like fitness freaks, we smuggled apples, oranges a grapefruit out of breakfast, then packed & set off for the day in another gloriously sunny day. We travelled along California 180 & climbed steeply up to the Kings Canyon National Park 🏞. It was $35 to enter at the Big Stump entrance, but of course we were waved through with our Parks Pass.
At the visitors centre we learnt that a storm was coming in at 3.00pm & Generals Highway was be closed because of snowfall. It didn’t effect us, we were taking the Scenic Byway into Kings Canyon.
Our 1st stop was General Grant Grove & it’s General Grant Tree, a huge Sequoia, which is the 3rd Largest Tree in the World! We took the trail that took us through a thicket of Sequoias. One was lying on it’s side & it was possible to walk through it.
After admiring the enormity of the Sequoias, we were heading back to the car when we approached a motorcycle gang who were blocking the path. We were literally yards away when one of the bikers suddenly knelt down, pulled out a ring & proposed to his girlfriend (she said ‘yes’). It was quite a moment. The motorcycle gang were Coastside Armada Harley Club.
We continued on our Scenic Byway heading towards snow capped mountains, then the road plummeted into the canyon. Our ears were popping from the swift drop in altitude as we negotiated the tight bends in the road. It was an exhilarating road to drive.
We stopped at the regular scenic viewpoints & then took a turning off towards Hume Lake. Hume Lake turned out to be a Christian enclave, but the lake & mountains were pleasing on the eye. There were lots of young males that were stocky, but fit looking. My enquires revealed that they were gathered there for a ‘Football’ coaching weekend.
The queue for refreshment was too long to endure, so we hit the road again. The road continued to cling to the mountain as we descended further. We stopped at Junction View & continued past an old fashioned petrol pump at Kings Canyon Lodge. I thought, “What idiot would need to fill up there?”
On we went through Kings Canyon Scenic Byway & stopped at Grizzly Falls. This turned out to be a dramatic waterfall that we could get right up to the foot of. Unfortunately this meant getting saturated.
Back in the car, I looked down at the fuel gauge & realised that the steep winding roads were taking their toll. We were in serious danger of not having enough fuel to get back out of the canyon. Brilliant.
I now struggled to think of anything else as we proceeded on, even with the possibility of seeing bears in this ‘Bear High Risk’ area. We continued to Cedar Grove & Zumwalt Meadow, where there was the opportunity to go for a walk, but we chose not to.
We then headed back, driving as economically as I could, but the fuel gauge was plummeting like the roads. We discussed our options, then at Kings Canyon Lodge, we saw the sign at the old fashioned fuel pump that said it was open. We pulled in & a man in a digger shouted over “Do you want fuel?”
I nodded & he came over & started filling our car. He asked if we wanted it filled & me being concerned about how much it was costing said “Just $20 worth please”. He told me I was having $28 worth. I was not in a position to argue. Anyway, we were filling up at ‘America’s Oldest Double Gravity Pumps’. Not many people can say that!
We drove up & out of the park & headed to a town called Visalia, along a straight road flanked by orange trees. At Visalia, we stocked up on provisions at Walmart, then searched for a suitable place to stay. We chose Sequoia Lodge, which was clean & tidy, but overpriced. The persuader for us was its location near numerous eating establishments.
We got ourselves sorted then headed out for food. Jackie had expressed a preference for Chinese, but I said I would only have it if it had Crispy Aromatic Duck & Crispy Chilli Beef. I know what I like!! This caused a bit of an argument.
Anyway we headed to the Chinese Garden restaurant, where we established it had neither of my favourite meals. By this time, however, I was so hungry & was happy to eat anything, so we decided to chance the Chinese. Our decision was cemented in stone, when we saw how cheap the house wine was.
We ordered Mongolian beef, walnut & honey battered chicken, plain chow mien & rice. It was a fantastic meal and I don’t say this lightly when I say it was possibly the best Chinese I’ve ever had! We went to bed on full stomachs.
FITBIT = 8,767 steps / 4.07 miles.
Song of the Day - The Bends by Radiohead.Read more