Friday, May 31, 2013


Back on the trail again after the H&H visit.  Next stop Moro Rock –

Our destination - Moro Rock

The adventure of getting there, as always, was half the fun.  And today’s ‘getting there’ was filled with events - - -
A prescribed burn near the Ranger Station.  Seemed to cover many acres by the time we came back down the hill.

Some of the yucca had not lost all of their flowers yet.

The Four Guardsmen stand as sentinels at the entrance of the Giant Forest.

Didn't see any this time, but we know they are around.

The Tunnel Log - no visit complete without driving thru.

As one approaches Moro Rock it is quite daunting – standing almost 7,000’ above the valley floor it resembles an enormous 1,000’ egg standing on end on the rim of the Marble Fork Canyon.  Nearly 400 steps take you up 300’ in .3 mile.  The entire walk is on the rock itself with continual views in all directions – the Great Western Divide, the Middle Fork Canyon, Generals Highway (which we have been traveling daily), more wild flowers and an array of lizards.  Even E’s knees shook in spots on this one – but there were plenty of rest spots including a great spot for our lunch break.

A view of the Kaweah Valley (Magic is parked at the far end of the picture, not too far from the lake) from the top of Moro Rock. You can see the smoke from the 'burn' in the middle of the picture.

A very small portion of the road up.

Exquisite vistas.  Mineral King (our first day here) is at the base of the snow capped peaks.

Views from the trail to the top of Moro Rock.
The wildflowers seem to be able to take hold in solid rock.

Another ho-hum lunch spot.

Who me?..afraid of heights?..YIKES!!

After almost a week in the Valley, we decided we would like to try staying in the park at the entrance to Kings Canyon.  So – Magic was packed up and filled to the brim with water, batteries charged and all waste tanks dumped to nothing, as we would be dry camping (no hookups) for the next 5 days in the park campground.  It is all worth it – as check out Magic’s new parking spot;-)  No one around us and views in every direction –

Magic's new parking spot in Kings Canyon NP.
Who would have thought - with no hookups comes the fastest internet connection we have had in a week and a cell connection?!?!?!  Go figure.

Perplexed - but happily in the forest - E&G

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hiking the Rivers of Sequoia NP

In the last 5 days we have watched our little RV campground go from sleepy to manic back to sleepy.  When we arrived last Thursday there were about a dozen RV’s and a few campers in tents.  By Saturday morning there were about 3 dozen RV’s and 100’s of campers in tents of every shape and size – with additional canopies to cover their ‘kitchens and dining areas’!!  It was a mad house – but fun to see all the activity.  Then, by Monday afternoon everything was back to ‘normal’ as the Memorial weekend crowd was headed for home.  This left us to enjoy peace and quiet again.

There were a few hikes to take us away from the rat race here, though.  Like Tokopah Falls – one of the more beautiful hikes we have done.  This hike took us up the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River into the glacier-carved, half-mile-deep Tokopah Valley.  The River was by our side the entire hike and the floor of the canyon was carpeted with white, pink, blue and lavender flowers.

Heading up the Tokopah Valley with the Watchtower on the right.

Lots of wildflowers along the way.

From early on there were continuous views of the Watchtower rising 1,600 feet above – a massive piece of rock –

A view of the canyon wall, including the Watchtower, as we approach the falls.

Then – the Tokopah Falls came into view cascading more than 100 feet down the steep headwalls of the valley.  Our destination became our lunch spot.

Our destination, the Tokopah Falls, are in sight.

Does this look like a good spot for lunch?

On the return to the car, a stop was in order for our dessert.   E could NOT resist the temptation of checking the water temp any longer –

So how cold is the water?

THEN – daughter Heather and granddaughter Haley came to visit.  We packed our lunches and headed to Paradise Creek.  There was lots to do here (besides eat lunch).  There were rocks to conquer, rocks to gather out of the creek, rocks to (attempt) to skip, rocks to jump, etc., etc., etc. - - -

Heading off on the Paradise Creek Trail.
Rocks to Conquer - Now Time for Lunch.

Gramps showing Haley how to skip rocks.

So Gramps, if one rock skip is good... how about a whole bucketful.

Oops.  Gramps, can you please see if you can get my bucket back?

Rocks to Jump - Hey, hey, here we are!

C'mon gramma!

Gorgeous little hitchhiker.
Upon returning to the campground where the trailhead was, there was much to learn about camping in bear country and more rocks to discover.

This bear box is to help keep the bears away from the camper's food.

Rock Chairs!??

There were also adventures waiting to be had upon our return to the Bus.  There were sand castles to be made, ducks to watch and more rope swinging.  E could get Haley to jump rocks at the creek – but, swinging on the rope over the river was out of the question;-(

So much sand.. so little time.

Did somebody say ice cream?

This duck family has provided some good entertainment the past few days.

Having a swinging good time.

Have to go get some sleep as there are more hikes tomorrow!!  E & G ready to go;-)