Sequoia and Yosemite, June 2010
Sequoia National Park, Grant Tree, Grizzly Falls, Hume Lake
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Try as I might, I didn't feel that I could describe sequoias or things I saw in Yosemite without using the usual phrases of "magnificent", "towering", "majestic", "breathtaking", "awe-inspiring", or "noble" over and over, so I've decided to let you choose from this pull-down menu, and that's very sweet of me.

But yeah, that bear photo that we're using to navigate back and forth in these Sequoia and Yosemite photos is a photo that I took.  You'll see that shortly.

And while we're talking about what's coming up, I wanna make a special shout out to Ernie and the girls' soccer team from Downey.  You're coming up a little after the bear pictures.  And you'll see beautiful and (insert your favorite adjective here) waterfalls and marmots and deer and...well, you'll see.  Just follow the bear.

P.S.  There's a beautiful music video, made with many of the photos here, made by TK Major on the Extra Page.

Saturday, 26 June 2010:

Sequoia and Yosemite beckoned.  Lisa and I drove up the already-hot Route 99 to the Land of the Giant Trees, Sequoia and Kings National Park, staying in a tent cabin in Grant Grove Village, not far from the third largest living thing in the world.  And maybe it's that large because it's been growing for about 3000 years, 500 years before Buddha taught, 1000 years before Jesus wandered the desert, and 2975 years before Jessica Simpson roamed the earth.

Left:  Lisa hangin' out with the General Grant Tree, the third largest living thing in the world.

After unpacking our things, we rolled over to Grant Grove, taking time to see the lovely streams as well as the gargantuan trees.

If a sequoia falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? 

I heard a branch from a Sequoia fall from what must have been at least 80 feet up.  It was really loud.  I mean really loud. 

And look at the base of this tree.  Okay, there's no one standing by it, but it'd take something like 12 truckdrivers holding hands to wrap around the base of this tree.

After exploring Grant Grove, Lisa began preparing a delicious dish.  And while it's true that pretty much any food with onions and garlic tastes awesome, this trip was different: every dish we prepared on the entire trip was vegan.  We had chili, sandwiches, brown rice and vegetables, spaghetti with tofurkey sausages, and many other culinary delights.  We're not vegan.  We're not even vegetarian.  But why not eat a little better?

George, our stuffed monkey companion, was full of good cheer and was a delight to have on our camping trip.

After Lisa and George went to sleep, I decided to do some night photography.  Using a Joby Gorillapod, I steadied my camera on the picnic bench in front of our tent cabin and took a photo of the trees in front, right by the meadow.  My shutter release (bulb) was not working, so I unfortunately had to hold the shutter button down for the entire four or five minutes that was necessary to get this exposure, being careful not to bump the camera and blur the shot.

I took this photo at 10:45 in the evening, not choosing to do any light painting, so this is the natural lighting that exists even when everything appears almost black to the human eye.  The streaks in the stars are from their celestial movements.  I hope to experiment with exposures of thirty or sixty minutes to get star trails, really capturing the movements more, on our next trip to the desert.

Sunday, 27 June 2010:

The next morning, we wound our way on Route 180, following the roaring Kings River as Lisa expressed interest in someday river rafting.

We followed Route 180 to Road's End to hike up to Mist Falls.  However, the hike was incredibly hot due to lack of shade and lower elevation, so we ate sandwiches in a shady grove by the cool water of the stream instead.  And to think that we had considered hiking up Half Dome!

Grizzly Falls in Kings Canyon National Park near Sequoia, the first of many waterfalls we would see in Sequoia and Yosemite, absolute photographer's delights.

The cliffs over Boyden Cave, looming over the thunderous Kings River that carved these granite valleys over millions of years.

Route 180 and the massive granite cliffs in Kings Canyon National Park near Sequoia will have you get your motor running and head out on the highway looking for adventure and whatever comes your way.

On the way back, we visited Hume Lake, God's Country.  And it was, as the Hume Lake Christian Camps are located here.  And it'd be difficult to find a more idyllic location to teach the word of The Lord.

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Sequoia and Yosemite, June 2010
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