Sequoia National Park
7/20/2018 to 7/23/2018
Maintenance work on the trailer and another breakdown on the truck.
Then giant trees and beautiful views.
Friday 7/20/2018 Today is Wendy’s birthday and we wish we could be with her, too, but a phone call will have to do. She did have a visitor for the week, his name is Max and he’s a very nice Goldendoodle dog. He’s visited a few times before and we really enjoy having him. This is the last time Wendy will be dogsitting him because his parents are moving to Las Vegas. We hope Wendy had a nice birthday.
After our experience with the trailer and the broken bearings in the one wheel, I decided I should have the other three wheels checked. The mobile RV repairman had suggested a place that was on the way to our next stop so I called them a few days ago and made an appointment for 8:30 this morning. They had me drop the trailer off and disconnect the truck so they could take a look and they said they would call me with an estimate. We drove a few miles away and parked at Walmart to wait for their call. Of course, it took about two hours to call with the estimate and then it would take them four more hours to do the repairs. So we went and had an early lunch then went to Target and a few other stores just to pass the time. When we couldn’t spend any more time at the stores we found the Palmdale Public Library and I was going to read some magazines and Rose was going to look for some more used books to buy in the Friends of The Library section. Unfortunately, there were no used books for sale and they were showing a Disney movie on a small screen in the magazine section of the library. We couldn’t even waste some time at the public library. Finally, the repair shop called and said the trailer was finished and we could pick it up. We still had a three-hour drive ahead of us and we're going to arrive at the next campsite much later than we’d planned. We got to the Lemon Cove RV Park near the Sequoia National Forest around 6:30 pm and settled down for the night.
Saturday 7/21/2018 We decided not to go into The Sequoia National Park today since it was the weekend and weekends are usually extremely crowded. Instead, we drove about 20 miles into the city of Visalia to eat lunch and do some grocery shopping. After a stop at a gas station we drove back to the campground and when I got out of the truck I smelled diesel fuel and noticed a line of diesel fuel on the gravel and under the truck. Here we go again….
I opened the hood to see if I could tell where it was coming from. It appeared that an injector fuel line had cracked and was spitting the fuel out all over the engine compartment. I began researching how to repair it online and decided that I could fix it myself if I could find an auto parts store that had the part. I also had to figure out how to get to the store to pick it up. I found an Auto Zone and O’Reilly’s in a town about 20 minutes away and started making phone calls. Neither had it in stock but both said they could have it by the next day.
So, I asked them both to order the part and I would buy it from whoever got it first. After I ordered the part I went out and removed the bad one. Luckily I had the right tools to get it off. Nothing else I can do about it today except hope I’ll be able to get a new one tomorrow.
Sunday 7/22/2018 After breakfast, I called O’Reillys Auto Parts because they told me that they would have the part around 8:00. Of course, they didn’t. They said that because it was Sunday it wouldn’t be here until around 1:30. Right afternoon I called Auto Zone because yesterday they told me it would be there sometime afternoon. Nope, their afternoon is around 3:00. So I worked on the blog most of the morning and early afternoon. At 1:30 I called O'Reillys again and they said that it was there. So now I had to get there. I checked Uber and Lyft and Lyft was less expensive so I requested a ride. No one replied. Then I requested an Uber ride and got a driver that was 20 minutes away. Once I got to O’Reillys I also bought a couple of tools that I didn’t have to make the installation a little easier. The Uber driver waited for me, took me back and dropped me off right at my truck. It took me about 45 minutes to get the new one on. It wasn’t hard but it was really tight working around all the hoses and wires. After I got it fixed we took a short ride just to make sure everything was OK. I’m sure glad I didn’t have to have it towed to a mechanic. Tomorrow we are heading into the park!
Monday 7/23/2018 We finally were able to drive into The Sequoia National Park this morning after spending the last couple days trying to fix the truck. It’s about a 20-mile drive to the entrance of the park from the Lemon Cove RV Park. Our old people’s National Park’s pass gets us in free. It has paid for itself many times over. Our first stop was the visitor’s center and gift shop. The park ranger informed us that there was construction on the only road that direction into the park and they only open the road once an hour. He told us to wait for about ten minutes and then start driving and we should get to the construction zone at just about the right time to be let through. Otherwise, the wait could be up to an hour. He suggested not returning this way but leave the park through the entrance on the other side so we wouldn’t have to endure the construction wait again. While we waited we listened to a park ranger give a talk on tarantulas and park creatures. She had a dead body of a large wasp that supposedly has the second most painful sting of any insect. I don’t know how they figured that out but we did happen upon a live, flying one and kept our distance. On the way up we didn't get to the construction area at the right time. We got stopped along with about 40 other cars and had to wait for about 20 minutes before we were let through.
Our second stop was called the Auto Log. Years prior cars would actually drive up on the fallen, giant Sequoia log and have their photos taken. You aren’t able to do that anymore but you can walk on it. We walked around a bit and took some photos of other large trees, one section is called the Parker Group. Next, we drove to the Tunnel Log. Here you can drive your vehicle through the giant hole they cut out of a fallen log. I drove the truck around the log while Rose stood on the other side and took pictures of me driving through.
We left the Tunnel Log and drove to Moro Rock. The parking lot was full so we had to park a third of a mile away and walk a trail to the start of the hike up to Moro Rock. We had to climb a steep stairway to the top of the granite dome but it was worth it for the spectacular view. It can get pretty tight and you have to wait for people coming down quite a lot. It’s an elevation of 6,725 feet and around a mile round trip.
The General Sherman Giant Sequoia was next on the drive. It was a long paved walkway down to the tree which was very nice, unfortunately, you know what the way back was, all uphill. It is the world’s largest tree and is estimated to be 2,200 years old. It’s largest branch is almost seven feet in diameter. It’s said that every year the General Sherman grows enough new wood to produce a 60-foot tall tree of normal size. It is named after the Confederate General of the Civil War. It was a tremendously large tree but we had a hard time getting close to it because of the large crowd. We started waiting in line to snap a photo but grew tired of waiting and moved on.
We decided to just take a long drive through the park and stopped every so often to take photos. It is really a great park. It’s just a shame that the parks are getting too crowded to enjoy them. This was on a Monday and the weekends are supposed to be a lot worse.
Part of the road takes you through another park called Kings Canyon. On this road is another giant Sequoia which is the second largest tree in the world and it’s called General Grant. We roamed around this area and took some more photos. On the walk to the General Grant tree, there is a fallen tree that is hollow and you can walk through it.
We still had some daylight left so we started driving the Kings Canyon Scenic Driveway which is a 32-mile road that dead ends into the canyon. We were able to drive over 20 miles on the road which had a lot of twists and turns and some beautiful scenery. It was starting to get dusk and I didn’t want to be on the narrow, curvy road after dark so I turned around after we reached the flowing river and began the two-hour drive back to the trailer out of the opposite end of the park from which we entered.
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