In the land of the Giants

road trip-202.jpg
road trip-209.jpg

I didn’t know much about Sequoia National Park before we got here (this is starting to become a regular occurrence apparently).  I just figured we would drive to the park and immediately see the massive Sequoia trees all around us.  Not the case.  When we entered Sequoia for the first time from the Foothills entrance we were greeted with a more lush and almost tropical feel of a park.  So gorgeous.  So not what we expected.  In the foothills there are rushing rivers, purple flowers, amazing rock structures, warm green grass and small squatty trees. It’s breathtaking. But didn’t we come here for the Worlds largest tree? Where or where could General Sherman be?

 

We spent time exploring the foothills on the day we arrived by letting the big kids squeeze through rocks and climb along the river. We went to bed already in love with this new scenery but still a little curious about where on earth that big ‘ol tree could be.  Tuesday morning we jumped up and headed back into the park.  We were equipped with coolers of food and clothes for all climates. We were on a mission to see everything we could see.  We were all excited. 

 

We drove straight in and “oohed” and “ahhed” past the sights we had seen the day before but we kept driving.  We drove up.  And up.  Around corners and constant switchbacks we continued.  We drove up some more.  We learned that the park makes a change of over 13,000 feet in elevation from it’s bottom to it’s top. Slowly the landscaped turned from lush and green to a wintery wonderland.  The trees changed from tiny to massive in what seemed like one turn of the steering wheel.  We had found it.  The land of giants.  We were surrounded by the sequoia trees that make the huge forests of Alabama seem so small and other worldly.  Oh my.  It was pure joy for us all.  It was so hard in the Foothills to imagine what was waiting for us on top of the mountains.  Evan made the point that some of the trees we were seeing stood long before Jesus walked the earth and will remain long after we are gone.  Thinking about that really brought things into perspective.  We were humbled once again by God’s creation and His vastness that we are yet to comprehend.  We felt so small in the best kind of way.  We hiked and explored and spent hours in amazement. 

 

When you keep driving past Sequoia National Park you enter into Kings Canyon National Park. There was snow everywhere and many roads are still closed due to ice in Kings Canyon but the massive trees and indescribable overlooks continued there.  These parks might just be our new favorites.  These views are truly unmatched. 

 

road trip-193.jpg

Gray and Kyrie were given workbooks when we entered Sequoia to complete as they ventured through the parks so they could become junior rangers.  They were so sweet working diligently on their assignments while we had lunch in Sequoia.  Once we were in Kings Canyon they had completed their given number of assignments and presented them to a ranger.  Kyrie boldly and Gray shyly answered a few questions and took an oath to protect the parks.  They were each awarded a badge officially naming them Junior Rangers and I’m pretty sure it was Evans most proud father moment to date.  The kids have also been collecting pressed pennies everywhere they can find them (shoutout to our friend Brigett for getting penny books to keep their treasures in or we would have already lost half of them).  They scored two pennies in one day between the two parks.  Between that, the views and their ranger status it was a top day for them.

 

12 hours after entering the park we headed back to the camper and CRASHED. Well, 4 out of 5 of us crashed.  Evan headed back to the park with gear ready for a night time photo shoot…he requires no sleep apparently. 

*click photos below to view full screen