Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A 44 Degree Swing

We spent a few days at the end of our trip in the beautiful Sequoia National Park. We camped near a creek in the Mineral Springs campground. It was fantastic. The constant drone of the rushing waters was a pleasant backdrop to our fun.

The kids redirected the water after watching some older teens in an adjacent campsite. We spoke with them about what they were doing. The teens told the kiddos that they were trying to erase mosquito habitats. Eamon and Aine set to work helping them. Rocks and limbs were moved and damns broken.
The creek also provided many excellent skipping stones. Dave showed off his technique and helped Eamon, Aine and Benton choose stones. Aine was able to garner a few skips from her stones. Benton just liked making big splashes with his selections.
A few larger boulders and fallen trees provided plenty of climbing and balancing opportunities. Benton was quite displeased that he was a just a bit too small to leap over the water and land on the bigger rocks. The current made this mama just a bit more cautious, so she kept him close. He was fine once he realized that there were plenty of other climbing and rock throwing spots.

The water was very cold for this group of desert dwellers. We dipped our toes into the cool water. After jumping around and slipping on rocks, we were quite wet. The creek even provided a spot to wash dirty feet at night before we went to bed. Just a little rub of our hands and little feet were clean again - cold, but clean.
 It was an interesting trip in terms of rules for the camp. On our last trip in Arizona, we were not permitted to have any type of campfire. Large signs warned of fire danger. This was definitely not the case in California. Our tent neighbors were kind enough to share some wood, so we were able to roast marshmallows for dinner and again for breakfast.

 Another difference was the wildlife. Bears are a big concern for this area of California. We had to lock our food up at all times. The campsite provided large "bear" lockers for this purpose. All of the car seats also had to be removed and stored in a bear-proof shed. I think Dave was a bit concerned as he asked our fellow campers about it. They assured us that they had been camping at this site for years without incident. Fortunately this held true for our trip. We did, however, see several deer. One even came to have a bit of dinner beside our campsite. Each of the kids stood enthralled watching it eat. They also were thrilled to see it poop while eating. This brought choruses of laughter.
 The area around the campsite was beautiful. We spent one afternoon hiking near a meadow. We climbed the trail up the mountain and saw beautiful views. Each of us found walking sticks to use while hiking. We saw a family of deer, a snake and a bit of scat. It was a great adventure, although there was a bit of complaining about the hike length.

We left the campground with the temperature around 55 degrees. After an hour and a half, we finished the winding 23 mile trek down the mountain to find the temperature quite a bit higher. Once we returned home that evening, the temperature was 99 degrees (at 10pm!!). It was a nice break from our heat. Such a treasure to find the spot we did and spend the days together.


  1. How awesome! I love the pictures!

  2. Anonymous1:40 PM

    What a beautiful trip!

  3. What a great trip filled with such wonderful memories. I love the way you tell the stories of the kidlets and Dave and you and the things you see and do. I do believe you are a writer Heather.
    Thanks so much for sharing!