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2001 Winter Sequoia Trip

Day 3 of 3

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Monday, December 24th
Cross-country skiing and drive back home

The next day we checked out of the lodge on a beautiful clear winter's day. We drove down to the Giant Forest Museum. It had just opened the week before, and is a bit sparse. But it is very nicely presented. Good for a 15-30 minute stop.

After checking out the museum, we strapped on our cross-country skis and headed out on Crescent Meadow Road. The road is closed to traffic and is unplowed during the winter, making it a great beginner's x-country ski trip. It's the same road that carries a stream of cars out toward Moro Rock during the summer. In the winter, it's a completely different spectacle.

The trail is pretty flat and there are sequoias on either side scattered throughout the forest. We didn't encounter many people on the way in, but did encounter some other late-starting skiers on our way back. You can make a large loop trip, but we didn't have time for that today.

Sequoias along Crescent Meadow Road

I remembered from one of our summer trips that there were several beautiful groves of sequoias along the road, especially closer to Moro Rock. In summer, you can't really stop to admire them. But in winter, you can stop in your tracks at any time and enjoy the surroundings. We came to a particularly nice set of 4 or 5 towering sequoias on our left before turning around.

Jean skiing beneath the sequoias

After our short ski trip we headed back to Lodgepole where we had lunch. Then we started our long drive back to the Bay Area. Knowing the way back helped, as we cut an hour off our time by taking Highway 198 back to 99, instead of cutting over to 180. Oh, and by the way, gas was just 95.9 cents per gallon (regular unleaded) in Fresno. That's about 20 cents cheaper than in Los Banos. Something to think about when you're heading there or back. And gas isn't available in the park, so you'll probably want to gas up in Fresno, anyway.

View from the side of the road

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