al4kosh: Random Thoughts

Sequoia -- Late Spring 2018

Hanford and Hazelwood

As in most years, I attend a meeting in Paso Robles, CA on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Last year, rather than returning home to Oakland, CA after the meeting, I headed northeast to Yosemite National Park to visit sights in the park that were not open when I visited earlier that year. This year, I decided to aim a little further south and revisit Sequoia National Park to more fully explore a few areas I had rushed by during my visit last fall.

So, after the meeting concluded, I had dinner with some friends and then headed north to King City for the night (lodging prices in Paso Robles were out of this world). Sunday morning, I headed east on California Highway 198 headed for Coalinga and then Hanford, the county seat of Kings County.


As Hanford was the county seat, I thought that the downtown might house some interesting civic and commercial buildings. I was in luck, as you can see by the photos taken around Courthouse Square. Although the actual government functions moved to new buildings on the edge of town in the 1970’s, the 1890’s ere courthouse and jail have been remodeled into shops and offices. In the 1920’s a Veterans Hall and Municipal Auditorium were built on the other side of the square, while a Fox Theater was built on the west side. However, on a sleepy Sunday, the biggest attraction was the Superior Dairy ice cream shop on the east side.


I finished the day and spent the night is Visalia, CA abd the next morning headed into Sequoia National Park. I only took a few pictures that day along the Hazelwood Nature Trail near the Giant Forest Museum, as I think that I felt the effect of the rapid climb of over 6000’ from Visalia to the park.

Pictures related to this page are here. All pictures from the trip are here.

The Giant Forest


By Tuesday, I apparently had acclimated to the altitude and set out to hike through the Giant Forest from the General Sherman Tree to the Museum. I rode a park bus from the parking lot for the Sherman Tree to a shuttle stop near the tree, avoiding a walk down many stirs (hard on my knees).  After visiting the largest currently living tree, I started down the Congress Trail toward the Senate and House groups of trees, paying my respects to The President and Chief Sequoyah along the way. After passing the House and seeing McKinley, I turned down the Alta Trail. Passing Lincoln, I took a short spur to the remains of Washington and then came to the break in forest at the Bedrock Mortors. After traversing the rockier terrain, I entered a mixed forestwhile traversing a slope above Deer Creek. Finally, I hit the junction with the Big Trees trail, and after eating my packed lunch, heade across the Highway to Round Meadow, site of the ranger walk and bear sighting last year. Paying my regards to Ed (by Ned), I passed Clara Barton on my way to the shuttle stop. 

I shuttled back to the General Sherman tree for a ranger talk and then returned to Wuksachi for dinner that evening.

Pictures for the day are here

The Grant Grove

The Resurrection Tree

On Wednesday, I left Sequoia and continued north twoard the Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park. Along the way, I stopped at viewpoints to see the Sierra crest over Kings Canyon and Redwood Canyon and areas to the south and west. Arriving in the Grant Grove section, I headed to the trailhead for the Big Stump trail. Last year, this area was closed as it was being used as a base camp for some controlled burns. So, my attempted hike of the Big Stump loop consisted of a rather confused set of unguided walks. This year I was able to hike the complete loop in a manner that make some sense. I was able to view the Resurrection Tree, a Tree whose top had been severed by lightning but had grown a news one. I was also able to circle the meadow that had been the site of a lumbering operation and saw a collection of stumps, newer growth, and a huge shattered log—a demonstration of why cutting Sequoia forests was not a very lucrative pursuit.


I then stopped at Grant Village for lunch and finished the day’s tours with a walk in the the vicinity of the General Grant Tree, the largest tree in this grove. I then drove down out of the Sierra’s to Fresno, returning home the next day.

Pictures for the day are here.

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