Yesterday from the Elks Club in Visalia, CA we took CA 198 through Sequoia National Park, then CA 180 through the little part of Kings Canyon National Park, then Dry Creek Road back to 198. Today for our last ride in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we took CA 245 north through the land of orange groves and olive trees. Since California is essentially a desert, everything is irrigated canals which divert water from area rivers. This area is watered by the Friant-Kern Canal which leaves the San Joaquin River dry for 60 miles downstream.
In the foothills, 245 winds up a grade so gradual that we hardly noticed that we were climbing until
the foliage cleared to reveal that the valley was far below.
After an hour or so of these gentle curves 245 took us north through the middle of the little part of Kings Canyon National Park. We spent quite some time here visiting the Visitor Center, Grant Grove Village, and General Grant Grove that make up the areas of interest here.
The General Grant Tree, aka the National Christmas Tree, is located in the General Grant Grove, a very nice area with a large parking lot and handicapped accessible paved walking paths. We took the short one around The Tree. There are many interesting exhibits. I liked this one.
Inside, looking back at where I’m standing above,
and forward to where the infoboard above was. This is the end where they put the horses.
The General Grant Tree
Another interesting side exhibit
Between the Visitors’ Center and Grant’s Grove is this very nice picnic area where we ran into the only trouble of the day—those nasty little yellow and black bees that love food. We couldn’t sit and eat in peace. We had to keep moving and swatting them away. I didn’t notice the bee that burrowed into my last bite until it unleashed a burst of pain under my tongue.
It took me a minute to realize that something was still there. I fished out the stinger and venom sac. The stinger is that long thing to the left of the dark spot. Luckily, I only react to venom with localized pain and swelling.
I thought this was very nice of the park. If I had broken out in a rash, I could have recycled it.
Fortunately, I react to venomous stings with localized pain and swelling. We were able to continue our trip.
Tomorrow, part 2.
Louise and Duane