Our day started off with a 2:00 AM alarm so that we could say goodbye to Papa Pete as he headed to Phoenix to start his adventure. While one of us was easily able to fall back asleep, the other was a little too excited to get on the road. By 2:45, Patrick decided sleep wasn’t going to happen, so he started to pack up the truck. We were officially on our way out of San Diego around 5:45 and headed north to Sequoia National Park.
With only one quick stop for coffee and muffins around 9:00, we made some great time (even in the rain). After 6 hours of driving we entered the park and drove the winding Generals Highway. We immediately realized that we had left cell service back with civilization, so it was time to go off-the-grid. (We didn’t end up getting any service till 8:00 the next morning when we left the park!) Starting at about 4,000 feet of elevation, we started to see the giant sequoia trees. Let me tell you, the pictures don’t do them justice!
We followed the meandering road for about another hour, until we found the first “first-come, first-served” campground. Fortunately, we were able to find some available sites at Dorst Creek Campground and set up shop at 7,000 feet. After we pitched our tent and had some lunch (the first of many PB&J sandwiches), we then headed out on our first hike of the trip!
We hiked through the raindrops down to see the famous General Sherman. This tree is the “Largest Tree in The World”–even though it’s not the tallest or widest–because it has the highest volume of wood.
After returning back to camp, we decided to make it an earlier night. Blame it on the early morning, or maybe the altitude, but either way our bodies pretty much made that decision for us. Ally cooked up a delicious dinner of BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches, with a side of pasta salad, and then we finished off the night with some wine by a campfire. Before bed, we loaded up the Bear Box with our food and gear (anything with odor because, apparently, black bears aren’t people-friendly), and were easily the first ones asleep at the campground.
Early morning tomorrow, off to Yosemite we go!
– Ally and Patrick
San Diego to Sequoia National Park – 359 miles