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Trip Report 2018-2019 A Year in the Land (Disneyland)...a multi-trip report

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Friday June 21, 2019

A couple more pictures as we finished the Big Trees Trail.
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This rock formation on the trail reminded us of BB8 from Star Wars.
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By the Giant Forest Museum this tree was identified as "just and average tree"! We thought that was funny, just average. Looked ginormous to us!
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After the Big Trees trail we caught another shuttle to the next area we were going to next, Crescent Meadow. It was a smaller shuttle this time, no Disney bus, because it was a narrow winding road. The shuttle also stopped at another major attraction, Morro Rock. This rock was supposed to provided a great view. It was also 400 stairs up and the viewing area was on (possibly slipper in my mind) granite rock that was supposedly also narrow. It looked like a death trap area to me and neither of us wanted to climb up all those steep stairs. When the shuttle stopped I got a view of the rock and step, and yep not for me. And I don't regret it.

The next stop was Crescent Meadow and the driver had been talking to some people and said it was a great place to get a glimpse of wildlife like bears. OH MY! There was one main trail that looped around the main meadow and another trail that branched off to another area. The big decision was to decide whether to go right or left at the start of the trail loop. We decided to go right....we chose wisely.

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Soon we came to the fork that led to Tharp's Log, a downed Sequoia that a guy who grazed cattle built a home in. I wanted to go to the log. I think B was getting tired of treking. I won out and we took the fork to the log. Again, we chose wisely....
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I guess it didn't turn out too well in the picture but the ground was all pretty pink flowers. And shortly after this we encountered a hiker coming our way and he had news. There was a bear in the meadow up ahead! A BEAR!!! Part of that news frightened us and excited us. We proceeded with caution and figured it would probably be gone when we got there.
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Sure enough a few minutes later we came up to the clearing in the meadow and out in the middle of the field was a bear having a snack. We were plenty far away to be safe. I had a few problems getting some decent shots with my camera. Part of that was excitement, utilizing the zoom on my camera, and my blood sugar had dropped leaving me a little shaky (which I noticed the drop but I put it down to excitement over the bear at first, but some candy fixed me up quick but left my pictures a little more blurry than they might have been otherwise).

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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Friday June 21, 2019

Now we do have bears in Wisconsin, but I rarely see one. I think the last time I saw one was about 5 years ago when we went up to have a picnic by a lake. Anyway, seeing the bear was exciting.
This picture probably represents how far away we were, so we were a safe distance away.
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As we were watching the bear we noticed there were people on a fallen Sequoia log that was actually really close to the bear, NOT a safe distance away. But we figured if they had come out of the woods and that was a trail, then they had no choice. Then we noticed that the people on the log were waving their arms! What?! What were they trying to do, incite the bear? The bear wasn't coming towards them or even paying attention to anything else but its snack, so there was no reason to try to gain the attention of the bear. We thought it was a little crazy. Shortly after that the bear looked at them and started, and ran a little bit. Luckily it was away from the people and not toward us. But man that bear could move! It did stop again and started snacking again. Anyway, remember the people waving they will come up again.
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After watching the bear for a bit we moved on towards the log house.
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This was Tharp's Log. It was impressive to see how he built his home in the tree. I wouldn't want to live in it (no indoor plumbing! Ha!).
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A peek inside the home. Going in further was blocked off to preserve the remains of the home.
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This was the meadow by the tree where he had grazed his cattle. I wouldn't want to live in the home, but I wouldn't mind the view.
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The trail continued on from the tree but that part seemed very rustic so we went back the way we came. The bear must have finished his/her snack because it wasn't in the meadow anymore. Although when we had arrived at the tree there was a handful of people there and everyone was all a twitter over the bear sighting.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Friday June 21, 2019

Once we got back to the main trail around Crescent Meadow we got back on the loop that led around the meadow. We saw a bunch of people gathered in an area and we thought maybe it was another bear! Turns out it was golden bellied marmots and there were baby marmots! It was fun watching them scamper around the log.

As we were watching the marmots this guy comes up to Brad and asks, "So did you see the bear on the trail earlier?" And Brad tells him yes and said how cool it was to see the bear. The guys says, "Good I was hoping you would notice the bear. We were waving at you two on the trail to make sure you noticed it." This guy was the one on the log that had been waving at the bear, but not at the bear at US! He explained that he had seen Brad's Goofy shirt (yes through the trees and across the meadow) and wanted to make sure we saw the bear. Later Brad and I thought it had been nice of him to try to make sure we saw the bear but we thought it was a little crazy too.

The guy was nice and we chatted for a bit about the bear and about the marmots in front of us. He asked us if we were going down to the Mineral King area at all. We had thought about it because of the Disney connection, but we had read that the marmots in that area like to chew on brake lines of cars. We didn't want to have car damage or die so we had crossed it off the list. We told him no and he explained to us about how damaging the marmots are there and just wanted us to be prepared just in case. Again, nice of him. He said that some people use tarps or chicken wire to protect their cars when they park them in that area. Oh darn, we left our chicken wire at home.... ;)
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After we were done with the marmots and talking to the guy we continued on the trail. I spotted this cool looking plant growing at the base of a Sequoia. I think it is called a snow plant. I thought it was pretty and had an alien type of look to it. And the cone in the picture is a Sequoia cone and I didn't place it there it either naturally fell there or someone else placed it there. But notice how small the cone is and think of how giant the tree becomes.
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Further up the trail I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye...would it be a bear again? Nope just a deer. I do see plenty of deer at home but this fellow was handsome and it was neat to watch him for awhile.
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B and I continued on the trail and we were getting close to the midway point around the meadow and the trail led into the trees. Soon the trail became super muddy in front of us and it looked like the mud stretched a long ways ahead. There wasn't really anyway to get around all the mud except for going really off the trail. Neither of us wanted to walk through mud, not only would it get our shoes really dirty but we could get stuck or slip and fall. None of that was a good prospect and it might not be safe to walk off the trail. So we turned around and just went back the way we came. It was at this point we realized how lucky we had been to make the choice to go right at the start of our journey here, had we gone left we would have encountered the mud first and would have turned around and then we probably would have missed seeing the bear.

So we turned around and made our way back the way we came and headed back to the shuttle. When the shuttle came it was the same driver that had dropped us off. He remembered us and asked us how our walk had been. We said we had seen the bear and he was excited for us and said that he was pretty sure we would see one. We chatted a little more with him until we left the shuttle stop. There was a group of people that got on the shuttle with us and when I mentioned that we had seen the bear one woman in the group turned and looked at me with a death stare! I was like "what?", but I figured she was just jealous that we had seen the bear and she hadn't. Ha!
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As we took the shuttle back to the Giant Forest area to then get the shuttle back to the General Sherman to our car we passed by the tunnel tree. It looked cool and we figured we would drive through the tunnel tree tomorrow on our way out of the park.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Friday June 21, 2019

On the shuttle back to the General Sherman parking area, where we left our car, the bus had a rooftop window open that was basically over my seat. It was really cool to watched the tree tops go by. But that also got me thinking about the tunnel tree. When we passed it both B and I were ready to just head back to our cabin and were in agreement to stop and drive through tomorrow. But as I was watching the trees I remembered that I had read that the road that leads to the tunnel tree is closed to any cars except shuttles on the weekends. So we would not be allowed to go drive through the tree tomorrow. So today would be the day, I told Brad of the new plan and why and he agreed that we would drive back to the tunnel tree (it was only about a 15 minute drive really). After all how often do you get to drive through a Sequoia!

So we drove through together once. And this time people were crawling all over the tree but there were only a couple of cars, so we didn't have to wait for a lot of cars.
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The side of the tunnel tree.
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Then Brad drove through alone.
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Then I hopped in the car and drove through.
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And I hadn't been happy with the first picture I took of Brad so I made him drive through again.
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And with that we got back on General's Highway and headed back to our cabin at King's Canyon.
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On the way it was getting close and then past the time we would normally eat dinner. We got closer to Wuksachi Lodge and decided to see if there were any openings at their restaurant. There weren't, but there was a bar and the full menu was available at the bar. And to Brad's delight there was a big tv and it was playing sports stuff. So he was a happy birthday boy. He had gotten a plate of bacon, seen giant trees, survived a bear sighting, driven through a Sequoia and now he got to drink a rum and Coke and watch sports on his birthday!
I had a beer. I mostly ignored the sports games on tv because I could see out the restaurant window at the view, that was better to me.
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I got a sausage pepperoni pizza and I took most of it back to our cabin for breakfast the next morning. It was good pizza but I preferred the pizza I had eaten the night before.
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Friday June 21, 2019

Brad got a buffalo burger. He really enjoyed it a lot. I took a bite and it was really good, actually I stole 2 bites from the burger. We also got an order of Thai chili wings, but I didn't really care for the sauce (it was really sweet to me) so after one I let B eat the rest. He wasn't a big fan of them either but didn't want to waste them.
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After dinner we looked at the gift shop and I saw a few shirt designs I like, but didn't necessarily want to buy.
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The drive back to King's Canyon and Grant Grove Village was scenic. We saw a few deer but from afar, no creatures ran out in front of our car. Once back in the Village we decided to sit out in front of the fire pit to relax a bit for the evening. Right after we sat down the guy that was sitting there decided to stream some sort of sports things on his phone at a loud volume, it sounded like soccer. There was no one else around and he hadn't even been on his phone when we sat down. B and I were both like "really?" The guy even had headphones. We gave him a couple minutes and a couple of looks (which he was too absorbed in what he was watching) but he didn't dim the volume or put his headphones on. Being passive-aggressive I decided if he was going to listen to what he wanted I would listen to what I wanted. So I started to play some of my Disney music, I started with it's a small world. Brad just was smirking and laughing at me. I gradually increased the volume and then he looked at me and I shrugged. I don't know how long it would have gone on because shortly after that his friend came out of one of the shops, and he turned his phone volume down to talk to his friend, and I turned my volume off. They left a couple minutes later. So now we could enjoy the fire and area without the crazy sports noise. A similar thing happened to us when we stayed at the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon a few years ago only instead of soccer games it had been a guy blaring his heavy metal music and he arrived after us. That time too I responded with turning on it's a small world, it's an effective deterrent I guess.

A few people joined us a few minutes later. That was fine after sports guy left it was a nice evening.

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Coming up: Saturday we leave the cool pleasant weather of Sequoia for the dry heat of the desert.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wow.. how cool.. That looked like some kind of brown bear (grizzley?) as compared to the black bears we have around here. And you didn't just see a deer, you saw a buck! I love wildlife... I do like camping, but I can't do a tent anymore... my back is too old for that!
It wasn't a grizzly bear, those don't exist any more in California. It was a black bear. We had read one of the signs in the park about bears and they said that black bears can be a variety of colors: black, brown, and blonde/golden (like what we saw). We had never seen one that color before so that was new for us too. The ones we have seen before are brown or black.
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
It wasn't a grizzly bear, those don't exist any more in California. It was a black bear. We had read one of the signs in the park about bears and they said that black bears can be a variety of colors: black, brown, and blonde/golden (like what we saw). We had never seen one that color before so that was new for us too. The ones we have seen before are brown or black.
Wow... I didn't know that! Learn something new every day!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday June 22, 2019

B and I got up fairly early today to make our way out of the parks and to Palm Springs. After of quick breakfast of stuff in our room we said goodbye to the cabin, checked out and hit the road.
View behind our cabin
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View in front of the cabin
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Sugar Pine Cone, it was so big!
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We stopped to say goodbye to the Sequoias too.
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After we passed this point where the road went narrowly through some Sequoias we didn't see any more Sequoias.
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We continued our way down the mountains and out of the park and stopped a few times. I didn't take a picture of all the cars coming into the parks but it was a steady stream and at the park exit cars were backed up for quite a ways waiting to get in. We were very happy we were leaving on the weekend and not arriving.
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A very interesting flower
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ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday June 22, 2019

Upon exiting the park we passes a large lake/reservoir. We noticed a few boats on it.
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Passed by some orange groves again.
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The drive took us on a huge stretch that was really boring and nowhere to really stop. We saw a lot of oil stuff.
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Eventually we found a place to stop for lunch, at a Jack in the Box, and get gas. The drive got a little more interesting sometimes.
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Finally we were close to Palm Springs, it had been a long drive. We stopped at the Cabazon Outlet Mall and visited the Disney Outlet there. I came away with 3 tee-shirts I had seen in the parks and basically got 3 for the price of one. Less than a mile down the road were the Cabazon Dinosaurs, an old style road stop. There was a mini-museum and we thought about going but in the end we just took a few pictures of the big dinos and kept heading towards Palm Springs which was the next town!
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