Long weekendSorry no links / photos for this blog entry
I didn't post anything about my visit to santa cruz, the roller-coaster ride on beach and long scenic drive along the beach, but I guess I will skip it altogether. 4th of July weekend is actually a 4 day weekend for Veraz and I spent the first day shopping with collegues Alon and Tal (names not modified). I don't believe shop till you drop
phrase would be applicable for three of us. It would be more like shop till the stores close
and that's exactly what we did.
Second day of long weekend, on Simha's suggestions we (me and Alon) decided to go to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The whole area is divided into four places, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon N P, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.
We have reserved a hotel in Fresno and I am typing the blog from hotel. Fresno is around 151 miles from Milpitas and and entrance of Kings Canyon National Park is 81 miles from hotel. Entrance of the park is marked by a Giant Sequoia tree. We headed towards the part visitor center and bought food and water first. A beautiful park ranger helped us in deciding that we should go to crystal caves next day and it would be good if we cover the kings canyon scenic byway in one day and next day for Sequoia National Park, General Sherman and the crystal caves.
We went to panaromic point
(at more 7000 ft elevation) to have a look over the valley and Nevada Sierras, breathtaking views with peaks more than 14000 ft high visible from the point.
We went to the General Grant Grove and the same beautiful ranger, Ranger Elizabeth guided us around the grove for a funfilled and informative walk and talk. I enjoyed the guided tour by Sam in Mariposa Grove (yosemite) on tram but walking around the tree was much better. The General Grant Tree is the prime attraction of the grove and it is touted to be 2nd or 3rd largest tree in the world. Today we will get to see the largest, The General Sherman Tree. There are a lot of huge trees in the grove and some of them have a really good story associated with them. I can go an write the whole entry filled with this information and story but I won't bore you with those. ( I can bore you with something else instead )
Stopping at various places along the road to inhale the beautiful scenery around we drove along the north most road of the park. We didn't go to the end of road due to lack of time and returned back midway. It was really good watching the river from more than 3000 ft elevation and than driving along the river with hugh mountains stretching on both sides.
Next stop was at Grizzly Falls, not very high but very fast and noisy fall, we could go very close to the fall and still see it (as against bridelveil falls).
My first visit to natural caves. Among the granite mountains there lied Boyden Cavern
, a small, cave made of metamorphosed sedimentry rocks. Ok, don't get confused, it was a 'Marble' cave. The guide (oops. I forgot the name it started from 'D' but guides should be beautiful lasses if they want me to remember their names) was an interesting guy, he made the cave visit a more enjoyable and memorable experience. I won't go into details of formations here but do some googling to see some real good pics. We experienced pure darkness within cave and I am a certified non-claustrophobic :-)
Another long scenic drive back to the hotel in Fresno, I was ready to crash and wrote this entry only in morning. I am sure that today it is going to fun.