The drive to Sequoia National park from Laughlin was long and hot. Quite lamely, interstate 40 does not have a welcome to California sign. Boo!
We arrived at our campground pretty late and even though it was pitch dark it was still rather warm. Sequoia NP has bears so we had to take every morsel of food, each toiletry, anything scented, out of our car and into a bear proof locker on our site. We sure didn’t want Becky getting mauled by a bear just for some minty lip balm! On top of that, it was the first time that we had to set up our tent in the dark and we managed to do it pretty efficiently. Despite the warm weather, we slept pretty well and managed to be able to sleep in a bit (in camping terms) because our site was completely shaded.
After we cooked up some potatoes and bacon on our propane stove, we went to explore. Our first stop was the General Sherman trail to see the largest tree in the world. The trail was short but fairly steep. We enjoyed walking around the massive sequoias and the forrest smelled so good!
We then took the free park shuttle up to the lodge to get some lunch at the deli. As soon as we walked in, Marlaina looked at the bright menu and got a migraine. Fortunately, she is well prepared and had her prescription medicine with her. We ate and once Marlaina’s medicine kicked in we took the shuttle back up to our car and then drove back to our campsite. As expected, the migraine medicine made Marlaina very drowsy, so she got into the tent to nap it off.
When she woke up, feeling much better, we decided to go to the Kaweah river to cool off. Our campsite was very close to a trail that lead to a calm part of the river. When we arrived there was a guy, fully clothed, lying in the river holding a bottle of beer. Maximum chillaxin. Manny, from San Dimas, was nice and really into hiking and the outdoors. He gave us a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (Marlaina’s favorite pale ale) and we had a nice time chatting with him about the park and hiking in the LA area.
The next day we woke up early, cooked up some breakfast, packed up, and started exploring other areas of the park. We went to the tree you drive through, but not surprisingly, Becky did not fit.
We checked out some of the trees that fell down. Then we drove to the trailhead and did the Moro Rock hike. For the view and sheer epic-ness nothing beats the easiness of this hike. If you can climb stairs you should do this hike!
We then drove out of the main area of Sequoia NP and headed for our next campsite on the outskirts of the park close to Camp Nelson. The drive was pretty scenic and we were listening to some new tunes that Marlaina’s sister recommended on Spotify and now we can recommend it to you: https://open.spotify.com/album/6e2X313opvmQbWCvHdlADs
When we arrived at Belknap campground we were pretty happy because it was significantly cooler there. At first, the fir trees smelled amazing and then the breeze kicked in and that lovely scent was replaced with the stench of the pit toilet that was only 30ft away from our site. Then there were bugs. So many bugs! It was awful. We cooked dinner in record time and ran to the car to eat it in peace. We then cleaned up for the night in record time so we could hide in our tent. We slept well thanks to the cool weather, but that was all to be thankful for because when we woke up the bites we had acquired were raging! We each got 10+ bites. We didn’t even bother changing our clothes! We packed up and rolled out as soon as the sun rose.
We drove into a small city called Porterville where we had a hotel reservation for the night. Then we found a laundromat and did laundry. Since we left camp so quick we didn’t make breakfast, so we had breakfast at the laundromat – tortillas with PB and dried cranberries. With fresh laundry in hand, we ran some other errands, grabbed a quick lunch, and made a wifi stop at Starbucks before checking in to the hotel. That hotel was a site for sore eyes! It was so nice to finally take a shower after 3 nights in the forrest. We laid low the rest of the night and stayed in the air conditioned room right until the check-out deadline.
We grabbed a quick lunch and hit the road to Morro Bay where we would spend 3 more nights camping.
Make sure to return to our blog soon to find out about our next destination!