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Sequoia National Park

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Sequoia National Park

When I think about it now, I've got to chuckle a bit. What was I possibly thinking? About 45 years ago my mother practically had to beg my sister and I to go on a summer vacation trip to Sequoia National Park. "No mom, I don't want to go. Why do you want to go see a bunch of trees?" Mom persisted and my sister and I finally caved in. We agreed to go to Sequoia National Park, leaving the concrete world of our home in Los Angeles behind. Oh how grateful I am today that we made that trip!

I remember getting on a Greyhound bus at the terminal in downtown LA. I was about 13 years old. My mom and sister sat a few rows of seats away and I sat down next to a young man who had a backpack. We began to chat and he told me that I was going to love going to Sequoia National Park. This was probably the first inkling I had that maybe mom was right after all.

I'll never forget seeing the Giant Sequoia trees for the first time; it was through the window of a small shuttle bus. The color of the bark was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. It was so red. And then of course the size of these trees was unbelievable! I've read the account of the hunter years ago who accidentally came upon the Sequoia trees while tracking his prey. When he returned to camp and reported what he'd found, nobody believed him. He had to trick his companions into following him into the forest the next day so they could see the trees with their own eyes. Seeing is believing when it comes to the Giant Sequoia Trees.

We had an unforgettable time that week in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. When it came time to head home, we were begging our mom to stay longer. We had come full circle; my sister and I didn't want to leave.

There were other bus tour summer vacations in the years that followed, Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, and the Central Coast to name a few. Needless to say I was enthusiastic about going on every one of them.

I'm blessed today, decades later, to live just down the hill from Sequoia National Park. It still holds a special place in my heart, and I love exploring it with camera in hand. The High Sierra Trail, Mineral King and the Congress Trail are few of my favorite areas of the park. Later this week I'm headed up to the Lakes Trail for an overnight backpacking trip, and of course I'm taking my camera.