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All People > painedplatinum > Travel Report from Near and Far > 2012 > November

We flew home to PHL on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Our time in the Great State of California was wonderful. The people were friendly and welcoming. Our 5 plus days will remain in our memories.


The Bay Area is rich in history and wonderful sights. Our trip to see the Sequoias only put a cherry on top. Thanks to all of my Insider friends for your many helpful recommendations. Once again, it was nice to hit the ground running with the assistance of you fine people.


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Day 4 was meant to be inspiring. Our three pack of travelers were all excited with the the day's planned adventures. We left Madera bright and early after a wonderful breakfast at the Springhill Suites. The drive from Madera to the National Park entrance was about 1 hr 45 min. There was another hour of driving inside the Park. This drive was beautiful. We climbed and climbed. Along the way we passed 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 ft elevation markers. We climbed so high that what felt like fog was actually the clouds. When we finally got above the clouds the view was spectacular. We could look down from the mountains into valleys filled with white billowy clouds. Very cool.


The first stop was the Kings Canyon Visitor Center office/gift shop near the General Grant Tree. The Park employees were very helpful. A short drive from the office brought us to the parking area for the 3/4 mile trail to General Grant. This trail is filled with many Giant Sequoia Trees. It's part of one of the largest group of Sequoias found in one grove. The walking trail is modest that most folks would not have an issue. Being in walking shape is still a good idea. The General Grant Tree is considered to be the second largest tree in the world. IT IS HUGE!!!! This was our first time being in the presence of these natural wonders. Shock and awe applied to our reactions.


After about an hour hanging in the Gen. Grant Grove, we headed for number 1. Off to see the General Sherman Tree. It was about an hour's ride through Kings Canyon to Sequoia National to see this marvel. Along the way, the Lodgepole Visitor Center is available as a rest stop. Unlike the Gen. Grant trail, this trek to see Gen. Sherman is much more taxing. You walk down and down and down. Then, of course, you have to walk back up. This will take the breath away from folks not in good walking shape. Just plan on many rest stops on the way up, if you need them.  Overall, a leisurely walk on this trail was an hour plus. The best news about the journey is the scenery. These trees, these gentle giant living things, are spectacular. There were people from all over the world visiting these giants. The feeling you get is nothing short of inner peace. To think that many of these trees have been around longer than our calendar starting counting AD. These trees date to the BC years. Many are more than 2500 yrs old....and still going.  It was a privilege to see the majestic Giant Sequoias. If you get to California, it will be worth your time to visit these unique wonders.