Day 1 —Visalia to Wuksachi

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On earlier trips this year, I realized that the economical way to maximize my time in a scenic area was to spend the night before in a gateway town. So, on Sunday, the day after the reunion, I departed the Valley for the Visalia, which is about 35 miles from the Ash Mountain entrance to Sequoia National Park.On Monday, I entered the park. From Ash Mountain to the Giant Forest, the Generals Highway climbs about 5000 feet in 16 miles on a tortuous path. Along the way are views of the mighty Sierra as well as interesting collections of rocks. At the top of the climb, one reaches the heart of the park at the Giant Forest Museum. Until the 1990’s, visitor services were concentrated in this area and causing the main attraction of the park, one of the largest Sequoia groves, to deteriorate. So, most services were moved to less sensitive areas at Lodgepole and Wuksachi, with the old store converted to a museum. Most parking lots were reclaimed with only a large parking area across the road from the museum remaining.. So I parked there aned walked over to the museum and proton of my first Seqoia experience. You can find pictures here.

I then headed to Lodgepole for a quick lunch and then returned to the north end of the Giant Forest to see the largest sequoia, the General Sherman Tree, as well as the various collections of trees along the Congress Trail. Photos are here.

After a full day, I retired for the night at Wuksachi Lodge.

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