Hiking in Sequoia National Park

Now that I’ve sorted through my photos I want to share some of the beautiful sights I was able to see when I visited Sequoia National Park last week.

First of all, I was amazed and enthralled with some of the stunning landscapes I was able to see. I always want to go out of the country and travel and often times I forget how absolutely beautiful the United States is. Here are some of the landscapes I was able to hike and kept annoying others by constantly stopping to snap photographs:

photo (32)And another one. I think I could live in this little cabin and be completely happy.

photo (33)Heading down one of the trails that led to a bunch of old mines, I was delighted to discover these silent observers who clearly thought they were being stealthy. I still get excited over the sight of seeing deer in the wild.

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Cooling off on the Hockett Meadow Trail.

But probably my most exciting shot was of this guy right here:

photo (37)And last but not least, my trip wouldn’t be complete without a typical shot of me standing in a Sequoia tree showing how tiny I am.

photo (38)I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and your Monday back hasn’t been too painful!

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A Trip To Sequoia: Silver City Mountain Resort

As you all know, I’ve been talking about doing something each day to bring about some happiness. Well, this past weekend it was happiness overload because I took a trip to Sequoia National Park. I’ve probably said this before, but I am a huge outdoors/travel nut. I love it. If I’m indoors for too long I start to get restless and sad. But when I’m outdoors doing some traveling and experiencing new sights, I’m in heaven. Sequoia was one of the areas I wanted to visit in California so I’m glad I was able to finally scratch that off my bucket list. I took pictures, a ton of pictures, and I’m psyched to share them (so if you hate that kind of stuff, avoid my next few posts. But I hope you don’t!) So first, let me tell you about this absolutely adorable place we decided to stay at: Silver City Mountain Resort. Claiming to be the most remote area in the park (which I can believe), this is the kind of place where you hear absolute silence. (If hearing silence is a thing.) After living in a big city for so long, this was refreshing.

On Friday, J and I packed up the car and left work early to take the 4 hour long drive from LA to the Sierra Nevada. I was warned that the hour long road up the mountains and into Sequoia was twisty and dangerous and, yeah, they weren’t kidding around. Once I started the trek up the mountain (lucky for me it was my turn to drive when this came about) it was about 8:30 pm so not only were we driving this snaky road, with little between us and the straight drop off below, but we had to do it at night. It was pretty scary, yet thrilling because I’m the kind of odd one that thrives on those situations. I didn’t get to see much scenery because of our late arrival but I did get to have a nature nerd freak out when I saw cute little mice scampering a long the roads at night, and a tarantula creeping across. Once we arrived to Silver City, we were left keys and a map to our cabin because everyone had gone to bed and given up on us. You know LA people can’t ever be on time. (Damn you, traffic!!) We stayed in the Honeymoon cabin, despite the fact we’re not on a honeymoon, and it was an old little cabin with propane lamps you lit yourself. No electricity.

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Honeymoon Cabin

Private campfire for each cabin.

Private campfire for each cabin.

Cabin kitchen

Cabin kitchen

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Bedroom. (I was really praying those tarantulas didn’t pay my bed a visit.)

It was so old fashioned and bare, which I loved. When I say bare, that means it also didn’t include bathrooms. Those were just a short walk from the cabins and much to my delight, they were very lovely inside. I was honestly expecting some kind of outhouse. The store on site included a delicious restaurant and homemade pies they claimed were the best you ever had. And I had all of them.

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Restaurant/store and in the bottom picture I tried to capture the hail that came down late Saturday.

 

I wasn't kidding about eating all the pie.

I wasn’t kidding about eating all the pie.

This was quite the little haven and a camper’s paradise. Of course, I say camping even though this technically isn’t camping, but still. There was no bathroom or electricity in my cabin so I think I should get some credit for roughing it! Staying in these cabins reminded me of some of my childhood vacations we would take to the mountains and I was elated to relive this. Now once I sort through all my hiking pictures I can share with you some of the most beautiful areas of land I’ve ever seen.

A picnic in Echo Park – formerly the lake of the dead

It was close to 90 degrees here in LA today. I’m a winter kind of person, but with the sun out shining brightly, and me being in such an incredibly good mood, I decided it was best to get out in the fresh air before I holed myself up working on my novel like I usually do on Sunday. The beach was my first thought, Disney Land my second, but when I realized how hungry I was, I came across this option…a picnic in the lovely Echo Park.

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This beautiful little spot in hipster town is surrounded by people reading, running, and taking to the water in paddle boats. According to my boyfriend, a former Silver Lake resident (another So Cal hipster city) who turns up his nose at the mention of Echo Park, this place (before it became cleaned up and beautiful) used to be the dumping ground for bodies. Lovely. Back in the 90’s they apparently cleaned out the lake and found 10 or so corpses underneath. So we got to sit back and enjoy the fresh air and our delicious lunch as we gazed out across this former lake of death. 

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Just check out the size of that strawberry! (I get excited over food.)

Like a typical white girl, I had to go to Trader Joe’s and stock up on some goods for the outing. And me being the sushi fiend that I am, chose that as the main course. Annoying, right? Yep, I get that all the time. The white bird you see sneaking a long up there was our main attraction. This guy was as stealthy as they come. He was in total creep mode as he crouched down as low as he could and carefully took each step until he swiped whatever it was he was after for his meal. I want to say he’s an egret, but I’ve never been good when it comes to bird names. 

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To end the day, this smiley face appeared up in the sky. There was also some kind of message attached underneath, but I couldn’t make sense of it. I’m sure the recipient understood. Maybe. (And no, it was not another apology from Shia Labeouf – at least I don’t think so.)

Journey to The Wisdom Tree

About two years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to take a hike to “The Wisdom Tree.” I don’t know if that’s what it’s actually called or if my French friend, who made the expedition before us, christened it with that name. If you happen to live in the LA valley area, you can see it in the Hollywood hills. It’s just kind of standing up there all alone. Poor guy. However he’s become pretty popular so he’s not that lonely anymore. In fact, the coolest thing about this guy is he comes with a treasure box of some sort and inside is an old notebook where everyone who visits this tree writes something. It was filled with poetry, happy entries, sad entries, declarations of love and drawings. Well, you’d think if I had the chance to spill my heart and soul out in a book after a Lord of the Rings like venture to the top, I would have written something beautiful. Something heartfelt.  Something freakin’ smart. I mean, this tree was called, “The Wisdom Tree.” But no, I chose to draw a picture of me with a sword and some dumb alter-ego type name. Syren. Or Syrin. Some little video game character name of mine spelled differently for different games. That was it. I mean, it wasn’t bad but come on. In my defense, I didn’t know about the book until I got there so I wasn’t prepared. That’s apparently what you get from me when I’m put on the spot. Well, I decided to make a trip again and redeem myself in front of “The Wisdom Tree.”

It was a beautiful day for it. While the rest of the country was freezing, (I think my hometown in Alabama got flurries!) California was its bright and sunny usual self. All decked out in my new Christmas gifted running gear, I was ready to hike…this…

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So it was dusty, dirty, and very steep. Like I said, I had done this before, but it was a different route. This one felt a little more of an incline. And let me also mention there were plenty of rocks that didn’t want to just lie still while you were doing your climbing. No, they liked to roll right out from under this falling prone hiker’s feet. But I grew up on this activity, so I stuck with it. I mean, I had to get to that book. And despite it being a hot day, the view was gorgeous. You could see the whole valley and the city in the distance.

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And finally, “The Wisdom Tree.”

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And wouldn’t you know it, the book wouldn’t be there anymore. Someone took it a long with my half-assed drawing forever preserved in “The Wisdom Tree” archives. I think there’s a lesson of some sort to be learned here, but oh well. (By the way, that’s not my boyfriend under the tree. Some guy named Spencer who was shouting his life story for the whole valley to hear. Hence, me knowing his first name. Don’t you just love being out in nature and then there’s that one guy with the megaphone voice? Thanks, Spencer.)

Overall though, it was a lovely day. Perhaps I’ll just have to bring my own notebook up there next time I make the trip.

photo (8)I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!