Posted by: sunnyharvy | May 17, 2016

Back in the USA

We are happy to be back onboard haRVy and traveling familiar territory in the USA. While New Zealand was interesting, traveling full time is just easier here and having nearly full time internet access is a big part of that.

After a few days of jet lag rehab and getting haRVy road ready we headed north toward the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California.

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View of Lake Kaweah in the foothills of the Sierras from our campsite.

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Can’t camp on this loop.

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You’d get your feet wet trying to dine at that table.

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Never seen a buoy attached to a picnic shelter before, but when it’s underwater I assume it keeps boats from running into it.

No, the drought is not over in California, but it was refreshing to see a lake filled to capacity. Lake Kaweah is normally maintained at a very low level or empty for most of the year, and generally only fills between May and June as the snow above melts. During that time many campsites are (obviously) unusable.

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The next morning w were soon back on a long, winding, and hilly road. Al had hoped we’d left these behind in New Zealand, but no such luck. The southern entrance into Sequoia National Park is so curvy that vehicles over 22-feet long are advised to use an alternate route.

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Not sure what this rig measures in combined length, but it is certainly one of the most unique we’ve seen in over 50,000 miles! The tow vehicle was totally custom made. The “travel trailer” was originally a 1949 Crosby.

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Galley kitchen under the hood, sleeping quarters in the passenger area, and a real character behind the wheel of the tow vehicle. He handcrafted it all himself.

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haRVy looks small driving between two Giant Sequoias.

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Yep, they are BIG!

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Giant Sequoias grow to over 300 feet tall and then begin adding layers to build a massive trunk up to 40 feet in diameter.

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A young pine grows on a fallen Sequoia log.

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We hiked around the impressive Giant Forest. Sequoias grow naturally only on the west slope of California’s Sierra Nevada range.

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And tried to drive through the tunnel log. haRVy needs a bit more than 8-feet of vertical clearance.

From Sequoia National Park we drove into Kings Canyon National Park. Kings Canyon is the deepest canyon in the United States at over a mile and a half deep. It takes another pretty amazing drive to get there.

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Oh yeah.

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Lucky to be here during wild flower season.

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The lightning sparked Rough Fire burned last year for more than five months, consuming over 150,000 acres of forest in the Sierra Nevada. Now, after a wet winter, the charred forest is slowly coming back to life.

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Everything is BIG around here. Can hardly see little Al in this photo.

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Free riverside campsite, thanks to our National Forest Service.

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Grizzly Falls (video here)

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Canyon View Lookout

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We took a lovely hike around Zumwalt Meadow. No wonder John Muir once called Kings Canyon “a rival to Yosemite.”

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Kings Canyon Lodge, built in 1937, was the only structure lost in the big fire. Somehow these antique gas pumps survived. The have been a major attraction in the park for decades so they have been restored and will reopen for the summer season soon.

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Our next stop was at Columbia State Historic Park where an old gold mining boom town has been preserved and restored.

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Columbia contains the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state.

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Before UPS and FedEx.

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Hotel lobby – still welcoming guests today.

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Many of the merchants dress in 1850′s attire.

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The town’s first fire pump wagon from 1850 was on display here, but too dark to photograph. This 1911 building is sheathed in embossed tin that looks like brick.

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Columbia’s streets are lined with a variety of shops and boutiques with many specializing in nineteenth century goods.

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When we got back to haRVy we realized that we’d parked a bit close to these tree branches. Need to remember to look up when you drive a vehicle that’s almost 12-feet tall!

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Silver Lake on Scenic Route 88 over the Sierras.

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Lunch view.

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Snow right down to the road, even in mid-May.

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Caples lake at nearly 8,000 feet still partially frozen.

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Descending into Minden to visit our dear friends Rick and Leslie again.

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Responses

  1. Once again: Exquisite photography! All I keep saying is,”I wanna go there!”
    Thanks again, “Sunny” 🙂

  2. And so happy to have you visit us – Leslie & Rick. LOVE your photos and captions! You are so talented.

  3. Good to see you’re back on the road, we enjoyed your visit and I’ve been enjoying looking back at your travels. Continue with a safe journey.
    Stan n Judy

  4. We loved Sequoia N.P. but were too early in the season for King’s Canyon. After seeing your photos we will have to try again. Are you headed home?

  5. just saw this post now – amazing photos!!


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