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Published: August 2nd 2010
The day dawned chilly and foggy. Yep. Still in San Francisco. But not for long. I picked up our next hire car at the Ellis St Hertz, just a dogleg's block away. This time a bright red PT Cruiser. The kind that scratches really easily. With no GPS option, we knew how to get to the 101 and freeway from our trip to San Jose, so found our way onto the 80 east. That took us across the five lane double decker Bay Bridge. It spans further than the Golden Gate Bridge and I think it is more of an engineering marvel than the GGB, just not so picturesque. From there we just followed the highway and google map directions to get to Grant Grove Village in the Kings Canyon National park. From the 108, there were 2 fuel stops, one of which we utilised at Squaw Valley ($3.199/gallon). After about five hours including the stop we arrived in GGV and were able to book in.
We took a break, looking around the Ranger displays, market, store and restaurant before walking 1 mile down the road to the General Grant Tree walk (0.5 mile round trip). Again we are treated
to the majesty of these great trees, standing hundreds of feet high with trunks meters in diameter. The GG Tree is the largest I've seen yet, dwarfing the Brotherhood Tree in the Trees of Mystery. My fancy new wide angle lens coped ok, but you lose the sense of awe when the giant tree is compressed into a single photo.
Liam was being apathetic so didn't even walk to the tunnel tree, while Joseph eventually did walk around the full path.
We then took the hiking trail back, passing through the campgrounds. Liam was dawdling a bit, which meant we were treated to a pose-shot of a chipmunk on a tree trunk, and later another chipmunk did a little chirping song for us.
We took dinner at the GGV restaurant, simple but tasty fare of burger, pasta, chicken strips with chips for the boys. For some reason the boys both opted to drink milk. Must be something in the air. Anyway, glad to be out of the city. As I write this we're in turn fossicking for large clubs to fight off bears, and listening to the birds sing their evening songs. You can guess which two
of the four of us is intent on fighting bears!
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