I'll picking up where I left off...
On Day 3 we sought the pictographs near the suspension bridge over the Kaweah and made it much more complicated than it had to be. After basically blazing a new trail (the kids were now a little nervous about underbrush and snakes) we realized we'd passed them right beside the trailhead. I did enjoy the accidental trip by the old flume. My kids said it was like something out of their video games.
Once back at the river, we enjoyed hopping from one big rock to another beside the river. They had little holes in them, with pockets of water and tadpoles swimming about.
After lunch it was time for an easy trail around the Crescent Meadow via the Meadow Loop and High Sierra Trail. This one was Alpine like- cool and refreshing. I loved the quiet and lack of people. I could easily imagine cougars and bears here.
After missing another turn off, we backtracked and rounded a huge fallen trunk with a mess of roots when my son spotted our first bear.
It seemed so small that my Grandfather's words of wisdom, "Wherever there's a bear cub, there's a mama bear not far behind" went through my head. We quietly backtracked and rushed along the route we'd come. We'd have to get to Tharpe's cabin another way. But as we reached a halfway point, we saw people gathering in one spot and realized there was another bear maybe 20 feet from the path, fishing in a barely perceivable stream.
My daughter wasn't as frightened here. I guess she thought she could outrun all the other little kids :) We passed by and got a few pics on the way. He didn't care about us at all, in fact, I was feeling so confident and the light was so perfect in the meadow, that I stopped to take a polaroid of him, even waiting for it to develop before moving on. I would never go up to one, but passing by with the throng, that's okay, right?
We did make it to Tharpe's cabin, made from a sequoia trunk, and wondered at the difficulty he would have had driving a herd of cattle from the little town of Three Rivers, where we camped, up the same mountains it took us hours to drive through to this meadow each summer. But we could see the value of the trek.
It really is a beautiful spot. My daughter even decided she could live there, in a log, as long as she had cable, a computer, and cell service. I'm thinking I'd like to without it.
Our last day there we passed the Lincoln Tree and went down Rim Rock Trail. It was different with wildflowers, fallen rocks and trees. One thing I completely got to indulge in was conversation with my children. Once we were a fair way down a trail they'd just open up and the stories and thoughts would pour out like water.
My daughter updated us on all the crazy happenings of her friends and told us how the book Weird Texas had scared her when she was little and how she had trouble sleeping after reading urban legends in the school library (ever heard of the Bunny Man?) Our son relayed some funny stories he and his friends had written and how a martial arts rival got justice under the bleachers of a high school football game through a series of hilarious events. Sometimes we played a song lyric game where I would give my daughter a word and she had to think up a song lyric that included it. I so enjoyed those moments.
We also saw our fifth bear, who walked right into the middle of the Giant Forest tour area and proceeded to roll around and scratch his belly like our dog Moses.
Sequoia Forest was everything I had hoped it would be.
(evening on a mountain, day 169)
Next up: ttv photos of The Giant Forest.
I realize this was long, but it serves as a scrapbook for me. The rest won't be so bad.