Leaving the coast was sad, and now we are sad to be leaving the mountains. We have been camped up at Big Meadow Campground for the past ten days – a record for us for sure!sequoia national park sign

Even with no people to visit with and no internet of phone service at camp (we’ve been pretty isolated) the time has flown by in a whirlwind of activity. I’ve decided to do a short separate blog on each of our adventures while here, and I will put in the links, but here is a recap of our time living here:

We arrived 7/25 – Tuesday. What a drive up. Mountain driving in a motorhome is not the most pleasant – not even for passengers! Plus we weren’t sure what camping situation we were getting into – would there be enough clearance, would the site be level enough, would the road in be too rough? Luckily it all worked out, and a soon as we set up camp we took a short hike up the granite mountain beside us and all was well with the world again.

campsite in big meadows
campsite in big meadows

On Wednesday, we were oh so excited to try out our new inflatable kayak. So we drove to Hume Lake – approximately thirty minutes away – and put it to the test. There is a video of our maiden voyage –  click here to watch.

Thursday, we did the touristy thing and visited Crystal Cave. About an hour south of our campsite, (and just a couple of hours from old home) Tom had never been. After that we hiked in Crescent Meadows. Total hiking – 3 miles.      Click here for separate blog.

Friday we hiked to Tokopah Falls. Total hiking – 4 miles.      Click here for separate blog.

Saturday was spent in camp. Joy worked on videos and Tom fished the small stream by our campsite. He caught a couple of fish, one that swallowed the hook, so we had him for dinner. Then – because we had been stationary for so long – we took a jeep drive and explored some nearby jeep trails.

One took us to Buck Rock Lookout – a fire lookout built in the 1920’s. Total hiking – less than one mile – but the 172 stairs to the top added to our exercise!IMG_1920

hike up to fire lookout at buck rock
Buck Rock Fire Lookout built atop the rocks in the 1920’s
hike up to fire lookout at buck rock
Hummingbirds outside of lookout at elevation of 8,500′

Sunday we hiked to Weaver Lake starting right at our campsite. The Big Meadows Trailhead was just up the road. Total hiking – 7 miles.     Click here for separate blog.

Monday was a no fun day. I had computer issues so we spent the day with a drive down to the Apple store in Fresno. Talk about culture shock. From a solitary campsite in the forest to freeway traffic and mall crowds. It’s amazing what we don’t miss! Total hiking – 0 miles – unless you count walking the length of the mall and back a few times.

Then we had to drive to the top of a hill to get cell reception so I could do a bit of work. But the sunset view from there was worth it!

big baldy hike by tom

Tuesday we took the kayak out again and spent the day paddling across and around Hume Lake again. I think I’m getting the hang of it! On the way back we found some off-road trails and got out at one spot to do a little climbing around. Total hiking – less than one mile.

Joy kayaking solo at Hume Lake (notice the paddle is no longer upside down!)

Wednesday was our most adventurous hike to date: the Hart Tree Trail. I didn’t know if I’d make that last mile uphill – but I did! Total hiking – over 7 strenuous miles!      Click here for separate blog.

And now Thursday and we’re heading back down to the valley to see family. It’s Tom’s birthday, so we’re going out to dinner with his girls. And I’m giving him (and me!) the day off from hiking!

In case you’re interested, that is a total of over twenty-two miles of hiking up and down mountains. On average, over two miles per day. Which is only 100% more than I did before we started out adventure. Yea, exercise! (I can’t believe I’m saying that.) Before long I’ll be able to do a strenuous ten mile hike without breaking a sweat! (maybe)

For a couple of videos on the hiking described above go to our Youtube channel here.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy