Sequoia, Winter Wonderland - Day 2 - April 2010

Here we finish our little weekend getaway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

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In the morning I awoke in Three Rivers, CA and just couldn't wait to get out on a hike and couldn't sleep past 7:30 am so I snuck out of the room and took a stroll in the area of the hotel which was right on the Kaweah River. I finally got to see up close those pink trees that I'd seen in the foothills the day before. They are called Western Redbud and according to my friend V, they're edible!

I took a few other flower photos and just sat by the river listening to the quiet of the morning and watching the clouds towards the park. There was a 50% chance of rain for that day, but nothing yet.

By this point, A was ready to join me and we headed back into the park for a light hike. We really had no idea what we'd see, but we followed this sign for the Paradise Creek Trail in the Buckeye Flats campground.

Walking along the river was great and we kept seeing these rapids and little water falls. In one area, we could climb out over the rapids on the dry rocks. Once out on the rock the sound of the rushing water was all one could hear. So great!

Everything was so moss-covered and green with little patches of brightly colored wildflowers. Some of the lichen was even super bright.

Indian pink (Silene californica)

Blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)

At one point, we saw this florescent orange color which turned out to be some amazing slime mold. It's at A's feet in this photo:

We even found an area with what looked like driftwood and sand. Our own private beach!

As we left we managed to get a few shots of the ground squirrels that are all over the foothills. There were signs around saying that the squirrels had plague and to be careful not to touch them or put your gear near their burrows. You don't need to tell us twice!

It was about time for us to head back to LA so we made our way to the car. Along the paved road were a variety of wildflowers and Redbud trees dotting the hills in shades of pink. Again, I marveled at the fact that this amazing wilderness is only 4 short hours drive from Los Angeles. I can't wait to come back!

Click here for more of my photos from Sequoia.