|Sunday, April 18, visit to Sequoia National Park. Sunny with high temperature of 78. I forgot to mention previously about extreme gas prices. At Yosemite Park gas $4.69 and in Death Valley it was $4.29. Obviously, I didn’t fill up at those places. We left for Sequoia on a beautiful morning from a desert town. We drove west through the Sierra Nevada Mountains back toward the San Joaquin Valley. Going through the mountains was a stroke of good luck. A 5,000 foot climb up a mountain and down the other side, brought us into a wonderful valley in the middle of the mountains with grassy rock walls all around. Cattle raising seemed to be the only industry there. Driving in this valley made me feel as if I were detached from the rest of the world; as if no one could find me, and the rest of the world could not bring harm to me. To get out of this valley, we again had to go up and down another 5,000 foot mountain to get to the agricultural valley in the center of California. We found the road to Sequoia National Park and started to climb the 7,000 feet to this beautiful Park. There is only one road that winds through the Park and it only passes through a very small portion of it. To see the rest of the Park, you have to be a backpacker. Actually, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are connected together. So, driving north out of Sequoia you automatically enter Kings Canyon. Kings Canyon is basically only accessible by backpackers, also. The views driving up the mountain were breathtaking. Nancy kept commenting on my driving, since the road was so narrow and had very few guardrails. The most exciting part for me was seeing the up to 3,200 year old giant sequoia trees; although, the untouched forest and overlook views were magnificent. I stated in a previous Journal that a sequoia and a redwood was the same thing. I need to correct this because the redwood is in the same family as the sequoia but is different. The redwood can get taller than a sequoia, but the sequoia gets a lot bigger circumference, with the largest being 103 feet at the base. A couple more interesting facts are the sequoia’s bark is up to 31 inches thick and the roots are very shallow. Toppling or being cut down is the main cause of death to these giants. The angle of the sun was just right as we drove through the Park, causing the redwoods to almost glow as they came into view. There was up to 4 feet of snow on the side of the road and in the woods at the higher altitudes, which made viewing even better. At the lower elevations wild flowers were in full bloom. The driving was quite slow due to the many switch backs. As we came down out of the mountains we passed orange groves that were in blossom, and the smell was fabulous. We found our motel in the town of Clovis, CA, and got a quick bite of supper. Another great day. Tomorrow nothing special, just a drive to north central California.