Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Visalia Elks & Two More National Parks - October 27, 2015

After staying in 5 Thousand Trail parks, for 5 days each, we are changing things up a bit. We have moved inland 153 miles, to the Elks Lodge in Visalia, CA.

We have 50 amps and water here for $20.00 a night,

and we are close to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We are staying here for 4 nights. We will be able to visit the parks while we are here. We were at Sequoia a couple of years ago, but Kings Canyon will be new. Later on, we have plans to meet up with our Escapees Christian Fellowship group for a rally to Death Valley NP.

It was a 150 mile loop we drove and we entered Sequoia NP first. A couple of quick pics as we passed the entrance.

The 'Sentinel' at the visitor center.

We headed to the General Sherman Grove where we hadn't been before. Love these awesome trees. The General Sherman Sequoia tree is the largest tree in the world, 52,000 board feet of lumber all in one tree. We walked our little legs off on all the trails through-out these giants.

Pretty cool park.

We drove through the park and right into Kings Canyon NP.

Besides all the great views, the General Grant Grove was where we were headed.

Here is a big dead one.

And a bunch of trails and big trees.

This was the 'big boy' in this park.

Love theses big old forests.

The weather is starting to cool off a bit. With the highs now in the 70s, we are going to start doing a bunch of boondocking.

Smellin' the roses!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bobcats & Pinnacles National Park - October 23, 2015

This RV park has a lot of wildlife here. We have seen at least 8 deer each day, and a million squirrels. But I really wanted to see a bobcat. There are pictures of bobcats in the lodge that other guests have taken, so I went looking.

There is a nature/excercise trail that travels along a creek by the park.

And the trees here have giant, low, limbs that would be great for a cat to run around on.

Then I saw something promising in one of the trees.

I put my tele-photo lens on for the shot.


Close, but no cigar!

I did take a picture on one of my favorite trees here, a Ponderosa Pine.

Then we were off to Pinnacles National Park, hopefully to spot a California Condor.

This NP is pretty new. It was made into a National Park back in 2013. And besides all the hiking to be had here, the state releases California Condors back into the wild here.

We got our Passport stamped at the visitor Center and picked up a hiking map. The ranger gave us some hiking suggestions and told us where we may see one of the big birds.

Then we saw some big birds right off the bat!

We chose the Condor Gulch Trail.

It is 1.7 miles each way, 1,100 feet elevation gain, and listed as moderate. It gets up there around the pinnacles.

We are off.

We took lots of water, snacks, camera, walking poles, and binoculars. Here we go into big bird country.

Beautiful weather and scenery.

It was a gradual climb.

Closer and closer we got to the pinnacles, and the home of the condors. Stopping every so often to scan for wildlife, and take pictures.

We only met a half of dozen hiker on the trip.

We really enjoyed the day. We saw cool trees, and the home of the condors .... just no condors.

Oh well, we had a good time today.

On the way back, I couldn't help noticing the dry California landscape.

Hope the drought ends sometime soon. This place could burn just too easily.