A Weekend with the Giants (part 2)
When we finished visiting the General Grant tree, there was still light left and even more time left before we meet up with friends for dinner. We wanted to explore a little bit more of the park, but the road to Sequoia NP is closed for the winter, which I don’t know if the closing is seasonal or simply weather related. Seeing that the weather had been pleasant without precipitation, much less snow, the past few days or weeks I was guessing the closure was seasonal in nature.
Regardless we found that the road to Hume Lake is open and we were told that we could see some birds there. I have not heard of Hume Lake before. In past trips we have visited the most popular spots in Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP so it was surprising that this was the first time I was hearing of Hume Lake.
Hume Lake was a few miles away from the lodge. The road passes through beautiful scenery. We came upon a parking lot by the side of the park, nearly empty except for a couple of cars, no people nearby, most likely have gone on a hike. The lake was peaceful and quiet with redwood trees as backdrop. We stayed momentarily and took photos. Across the lake on our right (I’m directionally challenged so I don’t know what direction I was looking at) there was a lot of activity. From across the lake we could make out building structures and people. We wanted to check it out. By this time, the unseasonal mild weather turned biting cold and because we were expecting some mild weather the husband did not have any hoodie or beanie or cap and his head was getting really cold. For sure if there are a lot of people out that way, there must be some sort of a visitor center/gift shop/market where we can find cover for his head.
The drive to that part of the lake was a few minutes’ long and as we were entering we saw a sign that says: Hume Lake Christian Camp. There were plenty of high school age kids all over the grounds. There’s a gas station, a post office, gift shop, convenience store, auditorium, chapel, and lodges/accommodations. We went inside the store and grabbed a cup of coffee and a souvenir beanie for the hubby, which of course was overpriced. I was thinking it was a better value for him to buy the hoodie but he said no. Afterwards we walked down by the lake and took in the water, the noise, and the unidentified fowl feeding by the lakeside.
Cooling down a bit more and darkening skies signalled our departure from the lake. We had another little side trip to make before checking out our digs for the night. As we drove back to the lodge, we noted that sunset was taking place. We wanted to see sunset from high up Panoramic Trail, which fortunately started next to our lodge. The drive up was curvy and slow. The trees were afire from the sunset’s glow. We didn’t see the sunset but as we ascended the top of Panoramic Trail twilight was all over the valley. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t see the valley below. We agreed to return the following morning after breakfast to see what we didn’t see this evening.
Our digs for the night was John Muir Lodge, a two-storey lodge with a large common room on the main floor. We dropped our bags in our room. Our room had two queen beds and faces the parking lot/front of the lodge.
Dinner was at the restaurant, which sits next to the front desk/registration area. The company and the service were excellent that night, the food was okay. We talked all through dinner, I had an uninspired Caesar Salad, our lady friend also had a salad, not Caesar. The boys ordered pizza to be shared and they shared a large order of chili. We brought our wine and the corkage was waived by the very friendly wait staff when she found out our bottle was screw top and not corked .
We were too full to have dessert right there and then, besides the restaurant was officially closed for the evening. We decided to take the dessert to go and share it in the common room of the lodge while we have a nightcap. They have pies, we got a whole one. They didn’t have apple pie or pecan pie; we didn’t want pumpkin because it wasn’t Thanksgiving. That left us with either coconut crème pie or chocolate crème pie. Naturally chocolate trumps everything else.
We enjoyed a piece of the chocolate crème pie with a sparkling wine in the common room with a high beamed ceiling, stone fireplace with fire roaring warmly.
What a beautiful day it was. Can’t wait to get some rest and ready for tomorrow’s adventures.
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***to be continued***