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Sequoia/Kings Canyon Trip

Day 3 of 4

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Sunday, May 30th
Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, Congress Trail

After breakfast we packed our stuff and were ready to leave. Unfortunately, the car battery was dead (it's a long story); but we had jumper cables (always a good thing to have), and someone was kind enough to give us a jump start. With that, we were back on the road, back toward Grant Grove.

On the way we saw the same beautiful scenery in reverse. We stopped at Horseshoe Bend Overlook, where we saw a dizzying drop-off to the river below, and an equally dizzying look at the granite walls towering above us. Shortly after that we stopped at Junction Overlook, where we had a view of the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork of the Kings River.

We stopped at the Grant Grove visitor center again, where we took a break and browsed through the gift shop. There was a long line of people trying to get campsites, but many were already full on this busy weekend. Thankfully, I'd reserved a campsite weeks earlier.

An hour or so later, we were at Lodgepole campground. This is the most developed campground in the two parks, with 204 sites, a large market, post office, showers...all the comforts of home. If you're willing to deal with the mass of humanity, that is. While there are twice as many sites as Moraine, it seems they're in the same amount of space. It definitely has a cramped feeling. The camp is located next to the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, and spring runoff had it running as loud as the Kings Canyon river, but it wasn't loud enough to drown out the sounds of all our neighbors.

After lunch and a short nap, we were back on the road again. We stopped briefly at the market to get water and juice, and then drove down the Generals Highway. After passing the Giant Forest market (now closed), we turned onto Crescent Meadow Road. We passed by Auto Log, which is a downed Sequoia you can drive on, and instead parked and did the short (but very crowded) hike up Moro Rock.

After battling the crowds at Moro Rock, we continued along the road past the Tunnel Log (a downed sequoia you can drive through), we parked at the end of the road and did a loop hike by Crescent Meadow and Log Meadow, two peaceful meadows amid towering sequoias.

It was getting late in the day now, but we still had time to drive back to the Generals Highway and hike the sequoia-studded, paved Congress Trail near the General Sherman tree -- the largest living thing on the planet. There was a crowd of people by the General Sherman tree, but we had most of the trail to ourselves, a welcome turn of events after Moro Rock.

We drove back to Lodgepole, stopped by the market, and then had another great meal -- potatoes and turkey topped with salsa, and broccoli. This night was definitely a chiller, so we kept the rain fly on and prepared ourselves to face the cold. My allergies had acted up during the day, so I took an antihistamine and had no trouble sleeping.


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