We left Glendale around 11am. Got lost for about an hour looking for the interstate. What was on the map was closed for repair. And that really messed us up because there wasn’t much instruction on where to go. It was not fun but we came out ok. 🙂
We took I-5. Then connected with 99 to Visalia. Then took US 198 through Three Rivers on our way to the park. The trip would have been about 4 hours only. But well we stopped at the Outlet Malls in Tulare for some shopping. We don’t normally do that when we’re travelling but everything was so cheap! So how can I/ we not? lol
Needless to say, we arrived at Montecito Sequioa Lodge around 6pm already. We did not realize how big the park is until we got there! From the main gate where we bought “America the Beautiful” pass, the trip took at least an hour halfway through the park. It was interesting though because a black bear crossed the road on our way up! That was so cool. I was so surprised that I forgot to take pictures. But then again, it happened so fast , there was no time to think. With mouth agape , John and I , got so excited about it. 🙂 Such a nice welcome right?!
The check in was fast. And since we got in late, the front desk officer told us to have our dinner before going to the cottage because the buffet will stop at 7pm. You know, that was why I booked through Montecito. The room includes buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Comes in handy when you’re on vacation. 🙂 I will write about them more on my hotel/lodge reviews soon.
What amazed me the most about Sequioa National Park are the giant trees. I commend the park rangers for protecting them. More so, the State and the Federal government for creating the park programs. I wasn’t too happy when our vacation got cut off due to the shutdown of course, but still credit goes to them for all the works they did to protect the wildlife and the nature they thrive in. Such a commendable act, really… I just pray that this will continue so that our future generation will enjoy them as much as I did.
My tip to those who plan on visiting the park – make sure that you stop by at the Visitor Center. The rangers will provide for a map of the whole place. It makes it easier for one to navigate the park. There are so many trails as well that you can walk on. Make sure that you are wearing a very comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. It is a big help if you want to enjoy what the park has to offer. And bring lots of layers. When we were there, the temperature at the bottom of the park was in the 70’s. But up in the mountains, the temperature dropped to the 40’s at nights. Yes, it is cold! So bring jackets, long sleeve shirt, thick socks, etc. Believe me when the wind blows and it’s cold, you will not like it too. So come prepared. 🙂
I’ve taken like a thousand photos. But I cannot put them all here. I will add more pictures when I’ve sorted them out. Most probably when I get back to the Philippines. hehe
Sequioa National Park is a very beautiful place. If you come visit, enjoy it as much as you can. John and I made sure that we took time exploring what we can. We sat one time in a nice meadow and picnicked. 🙂 The sound of the mountain breeze made it all the more beautiful. It’s as if the mountain was singing to us. Crazy thought huh? lol But well, that’s why we prefer the mountains over malls and the cities. I wish I can express it with words….
You know, there was only one memory that tainted my experience with Sequioa. During the shutdown, the park rangers informed all of us that we have two days to vacate the park. What broke my heart was this old couple in an RV. The old man looked like he was going to cry. Can you imagine saving for a vacation all your life and not being able to enjoy it as scheduled because the park is about to close? Sad right? I experienced that first hand. And I saw what it did to the park visitors that day. So sad.. I felt like crying too. But I thought John and I am still young. We still have lots of time to enjoy and visit it once again if we want to.
Two days is a long time. So we did our best to enjoy everything as much as we can. 🙂
I’ll share with you our King’s Canyon National Park visit next time. 🙂
Lea C. Walker