Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Winter camping/snowshoeing in Sequoia National Park

Had a great, long weekend with my photographer pal Michael...(here are his flickr pics). We left for Sequoia National Park on Saturday morning and arrived at Lodgepole Village camping area in the early afternoon. After setting up camp (not too far from the car), we set off for Tokopah Falls and saw a total of five people on the whole trail. It being winter, the falls weren't all that spectacular, but I'm sure that they look incredible in the springtime.

Since the sun was waning, we didn't stick around too long and headed back to the campsite. Once there, we chatted and read for a bit and by 7pm popped open a bottle of wine and began to heat up some water...nothing better than dehydrated food when camping! By 9pm we were sound asleep.

Morning came (32 degrees in the tent...25 outside) and we woke up at 4am. The plan was to showshoe up to Moro Rock and take some sunrise pics. However, the weather gods were not with us, so we returned to camp. After breakfast, we headed over to Wuksachi Village to get some batteries at the lodge (the batteries for the digital camera that we purchased the day before were crap). We then headed back to the parking lot at the Giant Forest Museum and chilled for awhile til we got closer to sunset time. The weather kept changing...snow...wind...blue skies...snow again. By 2pm, we decided to shoe it on up to Moro Rock. An hour later we were standing on the shoulder of the Rock and Mike was ecstatic about the conditions. While he was getting in position and taking some black & white shots, I took some pics of him in action.

Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck. After about 20 minutes, the fog rolled in and only got thicker as we attempted to wait it out. After about a half hour, we packed up and headed back to the car.

We decided to head over to the Lodge at Wuksachi Village and have a beer before returning to camp. After a scotch, I took a peek at the menu and we quickly agreed that a steak dinner was much more desirable than another dehydrated meal. We both had a steak and I enjoyed a Sam Smith with mine...I hadn't had one of them in years...very very good!

Filled, we returned to our riverview campsite and were soon asleep (by 8pm or so). Mike set the alarm for 6am. His intentions were to drive down the road a bit and look for good light. By 5:15am, he was motivated enough to get up and go to the car (it was 14 outside and 20 in the tent). I learned that a 20 degree rated bag isn't the best to have in this situation. Next time, I'll have a 5 or 0-rated one. Mike was back by 9:20am and we, rather he, made breakfast and then we packed everything up and headed over to the General Sherman tree (the largest tree in the world) for some pics. Back on the road by 11:30, we made it to the Bay Area by 5pm.

[Update...here are the pics of the trip. Thanks Michael!]

1 comment:

greentogroove said...

I was just there... passed through on my drive up from AL to AK (I'm trying to go throught the states in alphabetical order). Beautiful... there's even at least one of the pics from the sequoias on my blog. Amazing place.