Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hiking to Paradise

What a Splendid Day!

After a day of rest, we had a perfectly wonderful day today!

Our target hike was the Paradise Creek Trail (all that it’s name implies) beginning at Hospital Rock.

On our way.

Indians lived in the area of Hospital Rock from prehistoric times until the 1870’s, when the white man’s diseases killed off many of them. The name, ‘Hospital Rock’, has nothing to do with these early Indian inhabitants - it was the site of medical treatment to one of the early white explorers of the area and was therefore ‘dubbed’ Hospital Rock, which stuck through the years. These early inhabitants did leave their marks, though, in the form of bedrock mortar holes used for grinding acorns and the pictographs we viewed today.

Pictographs at Hospital Rock - Graffiti of Old!

Continuing from Hospital Rock toward Paradise Canyon, we crossed the Middle Fork Bridge (the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River) and entered Paradise Canyon, which contrasts sharply with the surrounding terrain. The trail parallels Paradise Creek, passing waterfalls, spectacular swimming holes and beautiful scenery.

A bridge across the Kaweah River - A bridge to Paradise.

Who are these folks?

Elizabeth captured a spout along the way.

Moro Rock from a different point of view.

Today, we found that picnic spot by the creek we were looking for the other day when all we found was snow! We both enjoyed our PB&J and the lazy respite by/on/in the creek.

Breaking for lunch.

Not a lot of history or story to tell here - just beauty -

Colors along the way.

Lots of water in the Kaweah River.

After our return to the car, we decided to see how far up the Mineral King road we could get - about 1/3 of the way. The Mineral King area was added to the NP in 1978 - named in the 1870‘s by gold prospectors who gained little more than unfulfilled dreams from it. The road is little more than one lane and in disrepair (an understatement!). But, the road, apparently, is the secret to the paradise’s solitude we did not get to. We did, however, have opportunities for a few more pictures -

A 1923 bridge on the Mineral King Road.

A brief stop along the way.

Nature's hot stone therapy.

Another wonderful day that exhausted both of us. Now sitting in our campsite waiting for the Laker game;-)

Another tough day on the road.

See ya later - E & G

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