Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. It has a majestic ring to it. Even if you don’t find the name itself to be majestic, though, the giant sequoias in the park will leave you awestruck.
Like many people who have visited the park before us, my family and I were impressed by the giant sequoias and amazing wildlife. There were beautiful plants and flowers, amazing trees, and the smell of the forest that makes you reluctant to go back to the city. To see more of the area we were currently driving through, we decided to take a hike on the Crescent Meadow Loop.
Before we got to the parking lot, we passed through a tree. Yes, I did say through it. The ancient sequoia must have fallen across the road, but instead of clearing it, a small tunnel was cut through the trunk, making it possible for cars to drive under/through the tree trunk. I have to say, that was awesome! I had never before driven through a tree. Anyway, we then arrived at the parking lot and parked, then walked over to the trail head and began our hike.
The beginning was pretty cool. We walked along a paved path through the weeds, grasses and trees and got to see a number of beautiful plants. Then we got to an area where the trees lost their greenness and rose out of the ground in charred, black spires. There had been a forest fire very recently, charring a lot of trees in the area. We could smell smoke on the air. Then we stopped. Up on top of a burnt hill, a big black bear came walking into view.
We all stopped walking and stood there waiting for the bear to move along. “This…is…so…cool,” I thought. The black bear walked down the hill, across the trail and into the trees on the other side. Okay, good to go. We began to walk again but then stopped. Two small black bears, cubs, walked into view atop the hill. (Is there a bear march going on here or what?) Apparently the bear that we saw a few seconds ago was the mamma bear. We checked the other side of the trail and glimpsed the mamma bear watching her two cubs from between the trees. Hiking safety lesson one: Do NOT get between a mamma bear and her cubs. It may not turn out to be the best day of your life. We stood there, waiting, until finally the cubs thumped after their mom across the trail. We waited a few more minutes and then proceeded with our hike. Just a bear sighting, nothing to get to worked up about, right?
We continued on our hike and came to a tree on the ground that looked like it was fitted out like a house. The sign next to it read, “Tharp’s Log”. It was super cool. After we passed Tharp’s Log, nothing of great significance happened for the rest of the hike. We got to the car, talking about what a cool hike that had been. Then we continued on in our self-guided tour of the forest on to Moro Rock. All in all, a really good, super exciting hike.