[cali 2018] part 2: winding roads and giant trees

Oops, finishing up my trip posts has been on my to-do list for some time but the last few weeks have been busyyyy. But it’s recess week now and I’m super free so gonna write about the next part of our trip before I forget! We decided to go to Sequoia National Park over the more famous Yosemite mainly because Yosemite was a few hours further away, and from looking at the photos Joe and I concluded that Sequoia = giant trees while Yosemite = giant rocks. And we were more interested to see the trees so yup.

So we set off in the late morning from FJ’s place and drove northwards. Most of the way was on highways that seemed to go on forever, like gmaps would literally say “continue straight for 100km”. The journey was supposed to be a 3.5h drive I think but we ended up taking around 5h including lunch, toilet and petrol stops :/

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Once we entered the park from the Ash Mountain entrance it became windy mountain roads~

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There was some event celebrating native American culture which we didn’t have time to go see, but because of that the park’s entrance fees were waived that day! We didn’t even know there were entrance fees LOL but yay for free entry :D

Anyway, the park is named for its Sequoias which are the giant redwood trees. And they’re seriously hugeeee.

We had a (very) late picnic lunch, and were planning to do the Moro Rock hike and see the General Sherman tree (the biggest living tree in the world by volume) before driving up to our lodge. But the road leading to Moro Rock was closed, so instead of a 10min drive we spent a good 45min walking in to the start of the trail. We later found out that the road closure was because it had snowed 2 days ago!!

The Moro rock trail is basically climbing stairs up a huge rock. With great views along the way!

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This is at the top of the rock! I love being in the mountains, there’s this feeling of being on top of the world which photos honestly can’t capture.

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Pano of the view at the top!

We didn’t have much daylight left so we quickly went down after soaking in the views. On the way back out to the car, we took a detour to see the Tunnel Log. It’s literally a tree that fell across the road and got converted into a tunnel. Cool stuff.

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Joe casually walking out from under the tunnel log

After this we were kinda screwed cos the sun was setting as we walked road out to the car.

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No more sunnnn D:
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I was sad that we missed the sunset but I guess this photo turned out well!

Then… we gave up on seeing General Sherman because it was dark and cold :( And we still had an hour’s drive to Grant Grove Cabins where we were staying. Thanks Joe for driving the mountain roads in the dark!! The road had no lights but there were poles with reflectors on them to show how the road curves – even then the road is so windy that you can only see the next 1 or 2 poles at a time, so it was some intense experience. When we got to the lodge it was so late that the restaurant was closed :X but we were saved by cup noodles!! Thx to good planning by me heh. And Joe was so tired from driving in the dark that crashed instantly after we finished eating LOL.

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Our lodge, photo taken the next morning

The next day we treated ourselves to a good breakfast at the restaurant for once (not like we had a choice cos there’s no supermarkets in the mountains) then set off to the General Grant trail!

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Another huge sequoia tree
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Actually all the trees are so tall (even the skinny ones) that you get used to it
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This group of trees was just beside the carpark but wowza I love how they’re so uniform

Sadly that’s all we had time for in our 1 afternoon + 1 morning at Sequoia. Would’ve loved to spend more time in the mountains and among the giant trees and maybe even camp there! Why doesn’t Singapore have natural landscapes like these sigh :(

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