During my visit, the weather down in the little town of Lemon Grove (where I was staying) was sunny with spring-like temps in the high 60’s to low 70’s. Driving up into the parks to the 7600’ elevation level, the temps dropped 20+ degrees and often the view was ‘socked in’. The giant trees were quite visible and there were no crowds in any one location so that was a big plus! A couple of the roads that I had wanted to wander down were still closed to visitors – that was a disappointment but, perhaps I’ll have the chance to re-visit.
I arrived at the Lemon Grove RV Park on a Sunday afternoon. During the checking in process, the manager asked if I planned on visiting Sequoia NP and when I replied absolutely, she handed me a sheet of paper with the news that there was extensive road work underway on the road up into Sequoia. The info sheet included a schedule for the upcoming week (school vacation for many) and the following Easter holiday weekend. Weekday access to pass through the construction area was scheduled on the hour only. Prior to the school vacation week change, the access was every two hours! Weekend access through this construction zone was monitored via a stoplight at each end of the construction site and there would be delays of approximately 20 minutes. That piece of information motivated me to focus on getting my rv set up, pack a quick lunch and head straight up into the park to avoid the limited access on the upcoming weekdays – a move I had some regrets about a couple of hours later!!
large boulders to a section of the fast flowng flowing Kaweah River
Then it was time to drive the construction zone. Here’s a quick shot of what the drive through the construction zone looked like. I’m sure glad I don’t have to work on this project!!
It is difficult to ‘grasp’ the size of these beauties in the photos but they were BIG, impressive and beautiful to look at! Clicking on the photo should increase the size.
I realized that I would have to plan another drive up here during the week after all so I decided to head back out. This was the view while waiting for the green light to go back through the construction zone – showing the roadway I had travelled up into the
A couple of days later, I drove into Kings Canyon via Fresno and Hwy 180 – avoiding the construction zone altogether. The drive out to the national parks through the central coast agricultural countryside was just so beautiful and peacefully serene! I found myself pulling over to ‘commune’ with the scenery, cattle and horses several times.
The weather for my second excursion into these parks was very similar to the first trip. This time I remembered to bring warm socks and a good pair of sneakers along with clothes that I could layer as the temperatures warranted.
I think I mentioned earlier in the post the change in the weather up at the 7600 elevation in the parks each day I went up there. These photos show the heavy mist/fog at the upper elevation as I was leaving Kings Canyon in late afternoon, the low lying clouds and the snow remaining along the tops of some of the ridges in the Sierra Nevadas. The last photo in this section shows the clear, sunny weather as I drove back down to the 1000 elevation level!
As I took the photo of the low lying clouds/snow (above), I noticed this craggy looking bush in front of me. I loved the look of bushes and trees that grow in odd, but interesting shapes so I took a photo to remember this one!! Then, across the way from this stop, I was amazed to see these trees and bushes growing out of the rock formation.
After my second visit it became clear that I’d have to visit again another time to find better weather and access to more areas within these parks (including Yosemite). A couple of days later I moved along o Lathrop, CA to another Regional Park in the San Jacinto county system. The name of the park is Dos Reis. Though it’s located right off I-5 it is a quiet location about 1.5 miles down Dos Reis Road and at, what I would say is the far end of the ‘Delta’ area along a waterway (sets uphill) that provides boat access and fishing. It’s a fairly small park with full hookup sites that are level, have a covered picnic table, most have a fire pit/grill combo, full grown bushes and trees providing a semi-private area, lush, green grass. The bathrooms didn’t appeal to me but I rarely use the restroom or shower facilities at rv parks so, that was not a strong consideration for me. It was quiet, no bright lights shining at night. For $25/night, it was a little gem!!
These last few photos are of that regional park and the resident rooster who, surprisingly, made more use of his vocal chords during the afternoon/evening than at the crack of dawn!!
I’ve now moved along to the Napa area . I always experience one of those 'Ah-h-h-h-h moments (actually it lasts for several moments) as I turn off I-80 onto CA-12 (Jameson Canyon Road) heading toward Napa. The countryside view along that road - and throughout the greater Napa/Sonoma Valley area for that matter - is one that I never tire of and enjoy immensely throughout my stay in the area. I can truly understand why Nancy chose to return and make this area her home.
I’ll be in this area for awhile – visiting but also. . . . .I’ve got some heavy decisions to make and need to ‘sit still’ for a spell to ruminate on my options/choices!!