A National Park BOGO

20180828_1923481417496275.jpgOur last national park stop was actually going to be two, but we didn’t know it. Even though I grew up just a few hours from Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, I’d never been. Neither had Albert. And I had no idea they were connected parks. We planned to visit Sequoia NP, and since we were coming from Fresno, we’d have to drive through a small portion of Kings Canyon NP to get there. Who knew?!

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The boys are standing on the trunk of what was a Giant Sequoia. It was so huge and tall. They had fun climbing up onto it.

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Across the road from where we spent the night, there was a grouping of granite rocks. What boy can resist climbing around and conquering them?!

We spent the night at the Cedar Grove Village. The night got chilly and it felt so wonderful!

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As soon as the Visitors Center opened up the next morning, we explored some of the exhibits. This is a scale model of the Kings Canyon. Such a cool way to show the canyon.

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These beautiful murals were on the walls. They show the different ecosystems of the park.

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This is an up-close portion of the mural above.

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All of these are hand painted. The artist who created these truly was amazing.

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This is the up-close of the mural above.

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There’s so much detail in these.

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This is a close-up of the mural above.

Then it was off to visit to the General Grant Tree.

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This was another Giant Sequoia (not the General Grant Tree). I wanted to capture this as quickly as I could because there’s a man standing to left of the tree trunk. His being there really helps show how gargantuan these things are!!! God is amazing!

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This is a Giant Sequoia whose trunk you can walk through like a tunnel. That was cool.

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I don’t have a fancy camera that could capture the entire tree from top to bottom, so this is the best I could do in capturing the image of the 3rd largest living thing on earth!

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Here’s some other interesting info we saw along the trail to the General Grant Tree.

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Walking among these giants really is breathtaking.

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Then it was off to the next park. We only had a day here, so we maxed our time as well as possible.

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That’s the General Sherman tree in the background.

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Because of its volume, this is the largest tree on earth.

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Another trunk-turned-tunnel. It’s pretty neat to think we walked through a tree trunk.

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We came upon this grouping of three Sequoias. I couldn’t help but think about what Albert and I wish most for the boys, and for everyone. It comes from Ephesians 3:17-19. “And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself.”

 

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We enjoyed lunch after our visit to General Sherman. We had vegetarian BLT’s and enjoyed tomatoes from Wade and Donna’s garden. So juicy and perfect!

After lunch and enjoying a movie about bears at the Lodgepole Visitors Center, we began our drive back toward the Kings Canyon exit. Being that Big Boy was longer than 22ft, we were restricted to that exit only.

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We stopped for one last hike, a 4 mile round trip out to Big Baldy.

 

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Along the way, we encountered a yellow-belly marmot. He (I’m assuming – I have no idea) came out of his burrow as we were walking by, so we stopped for a visit. He then proceeded to lay like this on the rock, as if unphased in the least that we humans were just feet away.
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The boys were about 6 ft away. Brodee took the photo above this one.

 

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After our Mr. Marmot visit, we continued on to our destination — Big Baldy.

 

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From the top of Big Baldy, the view is just magnificent.

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It’s so quiet. There’s just the low whistle of a slight breeze.

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It’s such a peaceful, solitary feeling to be up here.

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The beautiful Sierra Mountains range goes on for what seems like forever.

20180828_180839-1905305465.jpgWe saw these beautiful evergreens. The needles at the end turn a beautiful, more vibrant green. It’s almost a lace border to the rest of the bough. This hike was the perfect way to end our short stay in SEKI.20180828_182247-1461100481.jpg

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This tree had such a perfect Christmas tree shape!

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I had shoes and socks on for the hike, but there was such fine dirt on the trail, it got in my shoes. When I took them off, this is what I found. YUCK!

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On the way out, we saw a group adding their rock design to this large collection. I’ve never seen so many of these in one place. I have no idea what they’re called. These guys didn’t, either.

 

 

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