Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moving North

Confusing as it sounds, at least to me, just south of Sequoia National Park lies Giant Sequoia National Monument (southern unit.) In our effort to see everything, we decided to check it out on our way to the more famous Sequoia NP.

We stayed at a Corps of Engineers campground at Lake Success. It's a pretty lake surrounded by rolling golden hills with views of snow-capped mountains to the east when conditions are good. At less than 700 feet in elevation, I was afraid it was going to be hot, but it was perfect.

We really like the COE campgrounds. They are usually clean, well designed, and inexpensive. This one was lovely with huge sites, but was rather more expensive than most we have visited - $30 with electric, $20 without. Luckily Ron's Golden Age pass cut that in half and with solar panels we don't need electric. And realistically, doesn't everything cost more in California?

Because we were there before the holiday weekend, it was also almost empty.

Off we went to explore the aforementioned National Monument. On our way up to 7000 feet, we passed through the clouds. Oooo, spooky.

But soon we came out of the fog/clouds to a beautiful sunny day.

Well, this sounds interesting.

You know, you just can't get good help anymore. A nice man volunteered to take our picture in front of this lovely giant sequoia and he took it while Ron was telling me to take off my hood. Oh well, at least it shows how cold it was.

Isn't it a magnificent tree? Giant Sequoias, although not the tallest tree in the world (that would be their relative the Coastal Redwood,) can grow to 300 feet and live for 3000 years! That's hard to imagine.
I don't have the stats on this particular tree, but it was a beauty!

On our way back downhill, we were treated to more stunning views.

And you know I can't resist a pretty flower. This was actually a bush, unnamed, at least by me.

Next up, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the story of the disappearing campground.


  1. Have always wanted to see the "giants" ... so far, have had to be satisfied with virtual trips, but someday we'll get to see them for ourselves.

  2. A wonderful spot, it was interesting to read that Calif. is more expensive. Your campsite prices are roughly the same as those in the UK.

  3. Love the picture of you guys in front of the giant tree, even if you aren't looking at the camera.

  4. Did you go into shock with all that cool weather?

    I'm glad to see you're back traveling, enjoy the trip!

  5. LOL...well at least he didnt cut you in half like some of my relatives do when they take photos--IM horrible with taking pix of people! I have one of me taken by my Mom, I ws standing just under a cactus growing out of sheer rockface, and she cut me in half...she got the cactus in there tho--lol
    I Love that area where you are, its VERY high in Elevation where you are headed SKC is at 14,000ft SO you will need your hood most likely.
    and having the campground to yourself well; what could be better?
    Question? Do the Solar Panels give enough power to run heat or AC and how do yo know how much Juice you have? Just curious. Awesome photos and I cant wait to read about the Disappearing campground?
    Happy Travels!!!!

  6. To answer Sondra's question, the solar panels (two 120 watt) charge the six 6-volt deep cycle batteries and that's enough to run heat, small appiances (toaster, blender, coffee maker), and even the microwave for a few minutes, but not the air conditioner. And that's all I know.

  7. OH thanks for the answer, I had no clue exactly what all you could run off the solar power--

  8. Sequoias are just my favorites. I was half a century old myself before I got to see one of the giants!