SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
To celebrate the end of my chemo and radiation treatments back in October, we spent 2 weeks in California visiting a few places we had always wanted to see. High on my list was Yosemite National Park, and it seemed to make sense to also visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks since they are nearby.
[click any image to enlarge]
Our timing could have been better as I misjudged the date that the radiation treatments would end, and it only left a week between the end of treatments and the departure date for our trip. (This snafu happened because it took 2 weeks longer than expected for the insurance company to give approval for the treatments). Radiation gradually wears a person down and my radiation oncologist explained that it would take at least a month for me to get my strength back after the treatments. Oh well... reservations were already made and plane tickets purchased, so we were going.
I decided to just enjoy the trip and try not push myself too hard physically so I could get the most enjoyment possible from our travels. Cindy did virtually all the driving once we landed in California, and it was really great sitting in the seat on the right for a change.
After 3 days at Yosemite, we drove south to Sequoia National Park. Aside from seeing redwood and sequoia forests we planned to climb Moro Rock, which is a 6,725 foot high granite rock which resembles a much smaller version of Half Dome. It's very easily accessible and you can park at the bottom of a sequence of 400 steps that take you to the top. Some of the steps are carved into the rock and others are poured concrete, but the route is cleverly blended into the natural surroundings.
|#7_1520 - About half way to the top|
|#7_1497 - View from the steps on the way to the summit|
Climbing the steps was a little bit tiring for me and I had to stop and rest several times along the way. But we got to the top and enjoyed the sunset with one other couple who had gotten there before us. I was surprised that there were not more people up there that evening.
|#7_1508 - Another view from the steps|
|#7_1510 - Reaching the summit|
|#7_1549 - View of the Mountains to the south|
|#7_1540 - Layers of Mountains|
|#7_1430 - Giant Sequoia Trees|
The park rangers were doing a controlled burn to remove some underbrush, and the sunlight shining through the smoke made an interesting photo.
|#7_1490 - Controlled Burn|