Having stoken the fire high the night before & topped it up just before 2am it had still gone cold by the time we woke in the early morning! The free tea & coffee (available 24/7) helped us warm up as we packed, then after breakfast we loaded the car & set off to Sequoia National park in the sunshine. We parked at the Giant Forest Museum to hike the Moro Rock - Cresent Meadow trail. The Cresent Meadow Road was still closed for winter so we were hoping it would be fairly quiet over there. There was a small stream of folks visting Moro Rock, we took a brief detour up to Hanging Rock to admire the view, which was good in spite of a lot of low cloud, but the altitude of the park meant hills quickly left us breathless! As did the nearly 400 steps up Moro Rock! There was even more cloud so the viws weren't as good as they shoul've been but it was still good.
after Moro Rock we headed off into the mist on the Sugar Pine Trail then turned onto the Bobcat Point Trail (sadly no bobcats). After one rocky bit where the
trail was unclear (glad I bought my compass!) we passed Bobcat point (again, views obscured by low cloud) and made it to Cresent Meadow. Lots of low cloud meant the giant trees were very atmospheric looming out of the mist! Very glad the trail was well marked making it safe to traverse in the mist. From Cresent Meadow we headed to Tharp's Log. Tharp's Log is a hollow sequoia log that was converted into a crude shelter by a 19th century rancher - you're not allowed to enter it now but we stopped for lunch sat on a falled tree in the meadow adjacent. This was the one stretch of the trail we say a few more people - I suspect they just walked down the road & around Cresent Meadow rather than doing the longer trail. Most of the walk we were alone except for the birds (mostly American Robins & woodpeckers), squirrels & chipmunks!
We headed back to the Giant Forest Museum with a brief detour to see the Chimney Tree. After a quick look around the museum we set off to Yosemite National Park. This involved driving away from the mountains then back in. The plan to
Moro Rock views
From half way up!
split the driving 50:50 backfired when I ended up on the freeway & finding somewhere to stop & swap was difficult! We stopped in Oakhurst for fuel & supper at south Gate Bewing Company who do a delicious veggie burger!
We drove back into the mountains & into Yosemite National Park. As with Sequoia there was no-one on the gate & a pay on exit sign (we nearly got out of paying at Sequoia but were good & stopped to pay). We checked in at Big Trees Lodge in Wawona, which really looked the part of a victorian holiday resort! We had to take quite a detour with our wheely cases to get to our room with minimal carrying & the room smelt of musty waterworks, although luckily that smell faded. Whilst we still had to go outside to get to the loo it was at least under cover being just along the veranda, although the showers were downstairs. The radiator works though so no more waking up cold! The wifi only worked reliably in the sun lounge so we holed up there to check the upcoming weather and finalise our plans for the following few days. Sadly showers
were forecast Monday-Wednesday but monday was looking like our best bet so decided to do the Vernal & Nevada Falls hike then as that was the long one we most wanted to do - also along a Mist Trail, hopefully this one will be open!
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