A Weekend with the Giants (part 1)

Typically the travel process begins with the destination, followed by accommodations and itinerary. On very few instances, like this one, the destination was the result of the choice of accommodation. Sometime in January, Travelzoo, the internet company that scours for deals on travel and dining, etc., came out with another too-good-to-pass-up overnight at John Muir Lodge in Sequoia National Park. Naturally we were tempted, especially me. I have always wanted to do an overnight in a national park. What pushed us to the edge to buy it was another couple, friend of ours, who were equally excited to drive up for an overnight in the park. And so we set up the date, February 21, 2015.

Despite the sadness brought by a family member's death, we decided to push through with the trip. It was after all only an overnight and the wake and funeral were still days away.

The almost 5-hour drive was a good therapy, as it always am for me. Whenever I get the blues, a drive is my panacea. It's been a very dry, pleasant and mild winter around these parts, so I was not surprised to find the fruit trees in the orchards that we passed were all blooming. I was however pleasantly surprised to find so many wildflowers along the way.

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As we neared our destination, the field of yellow got more intense.

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We arrived at the park around 4 pm, checked in at the visitor center, and got a message from our friends to meet up for dinner at 6:30 pm at the restaurant next to the check in counter.

We had two hours to hit some short trails. We chose one that's close by, the General Grant Grove that contains the General Grant tree, the second largest tree in the world, next only to General Sherman tree , which is also inside the park.

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I thought this sign was ugly funny, because it was this dry for a winter's day.

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Along the trail we bumped into a park ranger. He assured us that they were expecting snowfall, very light he said, by evening and probably snow will be gone by the time we wake up the next day.

To be continued.............



  1. Sorry about your family member dying. If you want to see big trees you need to come here to NZ. we have a giant kauri here in Northland. Tane Mahuta.

  2. What a beautiful and scenic drive. The tulips are lovely.. And the shots of the big trees brought back memories of my trip to Sequoia. It is an awesome park.. Great post and beautiful images.. Have a happy week!

  3. Oh how delightful and healing for you ~ Wonderful scenic photos and magnificent photography of the 'Giants' ~

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  4. I love the sea of yellow and the tall trees.

  5. I'm sorry for your loss. What a wonderful trip to take and it would be so healing. Great shots!

  6. Those are amazing trees and great shots - I'd love to visit there. I'm sorry for your loss.

  7. Great photos - the flowers are beautiful and those giant trees are absolutely magnificent.

  8. Lovely! I have seen these Giants many times and every time I am amazed to no end!

  9. OMG! Those are gigantic. Love the flower shots too.

  10. Gorgeous scenery and those massive trees are so fabulous!

  11. Hi! The general grant is breathtakingly big! The wild flower photos are very cool. I am sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a wonderful place to visit. That General Grant is one mighty fella. Lovely flowers during the drive too.

  13. What a wonderful place to visit. That General Grant is one mighty fella. Lovely flowers during the drive too.

  14. What a wonderful place to visit. That General Grant is one mighty fella. Lovely flowers during the drive too.

  15. Lovely images. Those flowers are such a happy sight.
    And the redwoods -- it's been a while since I saw them. Thank you for these beautiful sights.
    I would love to come back and see more pictures and read about your holiday at Sequoia NP.

  16. A drive does wonders. I'd love to go for a drive right now except that we're still covered in snow. Your photos of flowers are refreshing.

  17. A fine series of this interesting place. The huge trees, including General Grant, are so impressive.

  18. This is so great, thank you for sharing your pictures! I remember our trip to California and the giant trees almost 3 years ago - we loved it and the kids too!

  19. Good old Travel Zoo, it finds places for you to go before you even knew you wanted to go there. The trees are amazing and I am looking forward to the next instalment.

  20. I've been to this park and loved the majestic trees. The wildflowers along the way were indeed a bonus!

  21. How so enticing and beautiful those landscapes are! I've seen wide landscapes with flowers in New Zealand, and they are perennially embedded in my consciousness. You never fail to get me envious with your photos during travels, how i wish to go with you.

  22. Would love to visit those giants!

  23. A drive , especially to such a beautiful location, always cheers me up too. Some of us just have a need to travel. Lovely you got to stay in the Park Lodge. When I was a child my family stayed in one of the Yellowstone ones ... A very rare vacation for us. Bill and I have camped in the parks and eaten at the lodges in several of them, but never stayed.

  24. Those pictures are wonderful. That tree's amazingly tall. Yeah, I got confused of the sign "no sledding" :)

  25. Look at those tulips...so lovely :)..thanks for sharing your journey :)

  26. I always say this is the best time of the year to visit these landmark places, Maria, because you almost have them all to yourself! And you still had trees and flowers in bloom.

    So sorry for your loss, however, and trust you're grieving well.

  27. just read this post today, so sorry to hear about the sad news,...
    sometimes, going out of town and into different places helps us.
    i hope you and your family are doing okay...


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