Monday, March 29, 2010

California Vacation: Day 4

The next day, it was interesting to witness in the daylight what we'd seen the night before...
We stayed 2 nights at the Wuksachi Lodge, high up into Sequoia National Park. This is the main building, and our room was in a separate building down the road a bit. It was only about $80/night and had everything we needed, even a fridge in the room.
This was the walk from our building to the parking lot. Although it didn't snow while we were there, you can see how deep the snow is. They seem to do a great job keeping the roads and sidewalks cleared. (They generally require you to bring snow chains in your car because the weather is unpredictable.)

Dash, standing on the front porch of the lodge
one of MANY trees we "checked out"
This also shows the depth of the snow. We were standing on a trail, but we were high above the fence.
That's Dash standing in front of the General Sherman, the world's largest tree.
another shot of General Sherman
We didn't get to see any black bears, like we had hoped (They said they were still sleeping...although there are bear warnings everywhere. You have to sign forms verifying you are aware of the risks of bears. You aren't allowed to leave any food in your car.), but we did see this character, who just sat and watched us. (I took this from my car window, by the way!)
the fallen tree you can walk through
Inside the Giant Forest Museum, there were many exhibits including this one that kind of gives you an idea regarding size of the trees (comparing it to the Titanic and the Statue of Liberty, etc.). The Sequoias are fatter around; the taller ones are the Redwoods in Northern California.I think the kids could have stayed for hours in this spot. They were pretending this was their house, and they were "decorating" it. They made so many trips in and out, collecting pinecones, branches, moss, bark, etc. to use for dishes, food, and decor for their home. How I wish we had a tree like this at our house!
This gives you a better idea of how big this tree was and how much room the kids had inside to play.
There is a gigantic snow play area...we couldn't pass up this opportunity...despite the fact the 3 boys were wearing...ahem...Crocs. We weren't quite prepared for all of this snow. I thought there might be a little snow on the ground here and there, but we were traipsing through snow several feet deep. (And also we just didn't have room in our luggage to bring everything that I would have wanted to bring.) We would be walking along on top of frozen snow, then our whole foot would disappear in a soft spot. We (at least) put plastic bags around our socks, which helped a little. (And I had bought those little packaged handwarmers, which were very helpful.) We were COOOOLLLLDDDD by the time we got finished - but no harm done. No hypothermia. No frostbite. Just lots of fun memories.
The view going down...we were going to buy a sled, which they had for sell (around $15). They happened to have one at the lodge that someone had left, so we were able to just borrow that one.
Needless to say, the kids have never had this type of snow experience before. (Remember: we live in Arkansas, where we get little snow at all. They don't really even sell sleds locally.)
And, of course, nothing says mountain wilderness like Chocolate Chunk Cookie, right? (We were excited about trying a new product from Whole Foods...eaten with a spoon right out of the container, of course.)


MaDonna Maurer said...

Jenny, looks like you are having a blast on your trip. I'm so glad that the whale watching turned out great! Loved seeing the pics of all you've done. The snow is great! fyi, our kids would have been in crocs, don't feel bad. =)

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

Wow. Those trees are breathtaking in PICTURES! I can't imagine being there up close to them!!

Crocs??? Now, Jenny.