Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2017. Sequoia National Park.

We had planned on spending the last couple of days at Yosemite Park, but there is a wildfire at Mariposa, just west of the park, and the smoke plume is engulfing Yosemite.

Last night we looked at our options for today's adventure and decided to go to Tobias Peak, a remote weather station in the Sequoia National Forest, south of Sequoia Park. It's a 2.5 hour drive so we planned on getting up early and hitting the road.  But early this morning I looked on line for the road to Tobias Peak and found out it is suitable for 4-wheel drive vehicles only.  I found it on a site called "dangerous roads".

So we went to breakfast and I offered Toby the choice between going to the local marina and renting paddleboards or driving back into Sequoia Park; he chose the park.  We did not have to wait to enter the park this morning, had little delay at the construction site, and stopped at the Lodgepole Visitors Center near the trail.

At the visitors center people with filtered telescopes were offering everyone a chance to look at the sun. They were also giving away glasses to look at the eclipse next month. I told the young man that I was taking all the grandchildren to Kentucky to see the total eclipse, and he asked how many pairs I needed!

We drove the short distance to Lodgepole Campground and started our hike.

The trail runs along side the Kaweah River, far above the section we rafted. It started out sandy and nearly flat.

As we continued, the trail got steeper and rockier; there were steps cut into the rock at the steepest points. We got into high meadows, where it was lush with ferns and wild columbine.

We could see the Tokopah Falls from the trail, but continued on, right up to the rocks at the edge of the abyss.

We'd talked to a man and woman on the trail, and we took each others' photos at the top.

Toby and the man who took our photo climbed out on the rocks below the point where we took the photos of each other. I went about halfway down and decided it was enough for me!

Below is Toby on one of the rocky sections of trail not far from the waterfalls. He would seriously like to go rock climbing!

We finished our hike, about 4 miles in all, and drove back to Wuksachi Lodge for lunch. Then we started the long drive down the mountain. It was in the 80s at 7,000 feet, where we were hiking. By the time we'd descended to 3,000 feet it was in the mid-nineties; here at Three Rivers it is 105 degrees.

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