From our parking spot at the Visalia (CA) Elks Club, a 35 mile ride north east on CA 198 took us to the Foothills gateway into the first of our National Parks, Sequoia, the second-oldest National Park.
We followed the Generals Highway north east through wonderfully tight squiggles past the General Sherman Tree, then turned north west through a corner of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument. We cut across a tiny piece of King’s Canyon National Park, then exited at the Big Stump entrance on CA 180. We hooked up with CA 245, continued south on Dry Creek Road, then retraced our ride on CA 198 for home.
We’ve done this before. That guy in the white shirt is setting up the shot of his wife holding up the rock.
When we visited here several years ago in early May, this road was closed by snow. This parking lot was as far as we got. We sat in the truck to eat lunch because it was too chilly to sit outside. Today if we’d had the truck, we would have sat inside with the air on because it was too hot.
This road is a biker’s dream with lots and lots of these
The views opened up the higher we went.
Moro Rock, a dome-shaped granite monolith. A 1/4 mile trail climbs 300 vertical feet from Moro Rock parking area to the Rock’s summit (elevation 6725 feet), a strenuous hike.
Besides a few short stops at overlooks, we made one long stop to view the General Sherman Tree. The walk went downhill on a paved path with several sets of steps.
Life-sized “footprint” of the tree (mentioned above).
The General Sherman, (not the tallest but) the biggest tree in the world.
There were a few picnic areas along the road, but we tended to pass them before we could see them. After our walk back up 225 feet, Duane dropped onto a bench and said he was staying there for a while. It was shady so we ate lunch there.
Turning west, the road entered Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument with less squiggles and u-turns and more sweeping curves,
and granite outcroppings.
Overlook in Kings Canyon National Park
The pointy topped trees are young sequoias still growing. The round tops are mature trees. Eventually the tops die and are called ‘snagtops”
The leaves are similar to other evergreens.
Exiting our last park, CA 180 connected us to CA 245 for our ride south. The highest altitude we reached was around 7300’. We were comfortable cool up there. By the time we rode about 1/2 way back down to the valley floor, the sun and the air were melting us. We stopped at Badger for a break in air conditioning and an ice-cold cola. Ahhhhh!
We opted to take Dry Creek Road the rest of the way down the mountains.
We are wondering about the significance of the blue and white flag. Anyone know?
Dry Creek Road was another perfect bikers’ road. It ran along the side of the hill with a drop-off to the creek bed on the other side. It was narrow, two-lane with no lines.
Home again. Duane with his bike rider’s beard.
Our 150 mile loop ride took 6 hours. When we left this morning, the air was already hot (guessing about 80). When we returned, it was over 100.
Tomorrow we are planning on another hot ride!
Louise and Duane