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Exploring Southern California

Alaska Bound

Southern California

Leaving the beautiful beaches of San Diego, California and heading north…..we are on the road again! The months in sunny California have been a delight. With amazing beaches, a spectacular zoo, and fabulous weather, it has been a winters dream. Beautiful days spent at the beach, walking the white sand beaches come to memory.  Side trips to enjoy the wonderful  adventures in the surf spring to mind. This is a surfers paradise, and a beachcombers delight. And don’t forget the spectacular San Diego Zoo and Safari. Here at the San Diego zoo, animal health and welfare is a priority. What fun!  Whatever you want to do, the weather is perfect. Even the hot days, are awesome, with a gentle breeze. What a refreshing place to be! Until next time, San Diego, we are on the road again. Out to discover this amazing State!

Beautiful Oceanside

Getting off to a late start, saw the team only getting as far as Oceanside. Oceanside is a major surfers destination. Here we can see one of the locals catching some waves. The waves are indeed just waiting to be caught. These waves are some of the best in the world. Clear skies and deep blue water seem to mesh seamlessly. A spectacular community spreads up and down the coastline. Oceanside is another one of the amazing costal destinations in Southern California. If you have never experienced Oceanside, you need to add it to your bucket list of places to see. It is a fantastic adventure!

Do You Have Anything To Eat?

A theme in adventure travel is to always mingle with the locals! Like most locals, this hungry Pelican was more than happy to mingle with the adventure bound guests. What a beautiful and well dressed Pelican! His manner was gentle and friendly, as he waited patiently, for a handout from all those on the beach. This is a protected species, so feeding them is restricted to the rescue agencies working in the area. These beautiful brown pelicans have also just spent a pleasant winter in sunny California, which is their breeding grounds. Now it is time to migrate north. Many of these babies somehow got left behind and are now starving. This little fellow just wants, a bite to eat!

Gateway to the Sequoia National Park

Lake Kaweah, is the Southern gateway to the Sequoia National Park. This spectacular treasure is in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, just east of Visalia, California.   Lake Kaweah is nestled among the foothills of the majestic Sequoia Mountains.  This is a wonderful adventure site with several camping locations and cabins close by to rent. These magnificent Sequoias are stately and  stunning. Lake Kaweah is beautiful and a marvelous entrance into these beautiful old growth forests. Grab the canoe and enjoy the lake at it’s best. Wildlife is everywhere! Peaceful days await! Join us at the lake. Excitement is in the air!

‎Wuksachi‬ Lodge

Wuksachi Lodge, is in the heart the Sequoia National Park in California. It is the only lodge located within the park. Premium  first class lodging in the midst of Sequoia National Park includes the Wuksachi Lodge. Wuksachi Lodge has a  full service restaurant, lounge, several shops, and is right in the heart of the national park.

Wuksachi Lodge
855-584-5292 (Phone)

Kaweah Park Resort is  one of at least four or more exciting camping spots in the area. Here you can enjoy many activities in nature, like swimming, hiking, or fishing. If you are looking for that perfect out-of -the-way retreat, then you will enjoy Kaweah Park  Resort. You will find river-front camping on the Three Rivers, nice cabins to rent, and even plenty of space for tents and RV’s. You can make advance reservations on their website.

Kaweah Park Resort
40457 Sierra Drive
P. O. Box 1092
Three Rivers, Ca. 93271

Horse Creek Campground is located on the Kaweah River. This is a primitive site for tent camping and self-contained units. There are restrooms, showers, and a dump station. Just three miles away to the east is the Terminus Dam. It is located on Lake Kaweah. Lake Kaweah offers a pleasant place to take out the boat, water ski, or take your sail boat out for a run. Fisherman will enjoy the abundant supply of fish. Both the lake and the river have crappie, catfish, bluegill, and rainbow trout. Relax by the bank. Fish off the boat.  You are sure to bring home all you need….. for a good fish fry.

Horse Creek Recreation Area
BOX 44270
Lemon Cove, CA 93244
(877) 444-6777

Kaweah Oaks Campground is the perfect place for all those bicycle adventure riders. The campground is located close to several bike trails. There are miles of exploration in the Sequoia National Park. It is also the perfect stop for those doing a valley run. This campground has fire pits, restrooms, fire-rings and even bicycle work stations. It is close to several shops and cafes. This is a tent camping only site.

Kaweah Oaks Campground
42362 Sierra Dr
Three Rivers, CA 93271                                                                                                  (559) 561-3602

Three Rivers Hideaway is a full service campground for RV’s of all sizes. Tent camping is allowed. There are also cabins which are spacious and can be rented by the day. The campground is only three miles from the entrance to the Sequoia National Park and a little less than 5 miles to Lake Kaweah. Here you will find pleasant sites with plenty of shade on the banks of the Kaweah River. It is located in Three Rivers and shopping is close-by.

Three Rivers Hideaway
43365 Sierra Dr
Three Rivers, CA 93271
(559) 561-4413

General Sherman Giant Sequoia

General Sherman, a  Giant Sequoia is the largest living tree on Earth! It towers to almost 275 feet and can be found in the Sequoia National Park in California. If you have never seen this giant Sequoia, then you are in for a treat. General Sherman is just one of the many exciting sights waiting for you in the Sequoia National Forest.

               The beautiful Sarcodes

One of the many beautiful wildflowers in the park. The Sarcodes are rarely seen, even in the park. When you see a Sarcodes, you have just seen one of the rarest flowers in the world.

                Elephant Seals

As we continue on our adventure bound journey, we come to the area of San Simeon. The northern elephant seal is an amazing and extraordinary marine mammal. Eight to ten months each year these seals spend out in the open sea. Then they come home to Central California to breed. There are several viewing areas located throughout the way for you to get a really close look.

Viewing areas are located:

90 miles south of Monterey

5 miles north of Hearst Castle State Historical Monument in San Simeon

1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas.

If traveling through this area, be sure to stop and watch these magnificent Elephant Seals. This is another piece of the exciting State of California. A stop in San Simeon is an adventure. Come on and join us. The Elephant Seals are calling!

              Hiking To Crystal Cave

Returning back to the Sequoia National Park we get ready for another day trip going the other direction.This time we will drive about an hour to one of the many caves in the park. Crystal cave is astonishing and there are several different tours available. You will want to choose your tour depending on your fitness level, the time you have,  and the age of the hikers. No matter which tour you choose, get ready to be amazed. This is nature at it’s best!

Just when you think that all the treasures of The Sequoia National Park are under the sun, you find a treasure far under the ground. Crystal Cave is an astonishing sight with some of some of the finest marble on earth. The marble is magnificent and there is even a little quartz in places. The walk to the cave is as interesting as the cave. It is spectacular! Crystal Cave is one of 240 known caves within Sequoia National Park.

                    Cool Wet Formations

The cave is filled with many cool and wet formations. It is complete with exciting and delicate treasures. Experience periods of total darkness. The silence is complete except for the sound of dripping water and other natural occurrences. This is one of the most spectacular  caves that we have experienced.

       Quartz Adorns The Marble Stream

Quartz adorns the polished marble stream in Crystal Cave at the Sequoia National Park. The polished marble is unbelievable and the quartz sparkles in the sun. This is an amazing stream. Expect to leave the cave with many great memories. You will have a lot of  new knowledge and a deeper insight on how caves of this kind are formed. All this may be intermingled with a few sore muscles, depending on your fitness level.

If you are staying in one of the cabins in the park, allow about an hour to get to the cave parking lot. Reservations should be made ahead and since these are group tours, it is important to be on time. The road to the cave often has construction, so it is good to allow a little extra time. The roads are narrow, winding, and steep. Drive slow and careful. The tours meet in the cave parking lot. It is recommended that you use the restroom before meeting up with your tour. There are no restrooms after you leave the parking lot. The temperature of the cave remains around 50 degrees and a jacket is useful. The climb is quit strenuous at times and there is no water, so be sure to bring your own. This is a fun hike and one to be remembered.

               Land Of Towering Giants

Sequoia National Park, in California, is the land of towering giants! What a privilege it is to walk among these ancient trees. Giant Sequoias can live to be over 3,000 years old. Their roots are really quite shallow, but they spread out to the side as far as 50 feet. As they spread, they intertwine with neighboring giants and they all stand strong.

These giants even have a built-in protection against damage from fire and extreme heat. The bark is extremely thick and acts as an insulator. Thus the periodic fires that trouble the forest, are less of a burden on Sequoias.

Unlike it’s cousin, the Coastal Redwood, the Giant Sequoia can only propagate from seed. The Coastal Redwoods can sprout from the stump and the root. But the Giant Sequoia sprouts only from the tiniest of seeds. It takes approximately 91,000 sequoia seeds to weigh just 1 pound. These tiny seeds, in turn, produce the giants of the forest.

The General Sherman Tree, one of the giants of the Sequoia National Forest, is the largest in the world at 52,508 cubic feet. The General Grant Tree, which is also in the Sequoia National Forest, is the second largest at 46,608 cubic feet. These  are  large massive trees!

                         Beautiful Sequoia

The grand beauty and spectacular fragrance of the cinnamon-colored bark of a Giant Sequoia in California is amazing. If you have never just sat quietly in this old growth forest and slowly taken in the sights, you have missed something. Imagine sitting with a small group of elders on a remote island. What would you think? These giants can be up to 3,000 years old. They are older than the oldest elder.  Think of the stories that each tree could tell. If you are looking at a tree of 3,000 years, what do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? If you have the time, just spend a few days and really learn what makes this forest different from the others. Take time to walk the paths through the forest. Take time to breathe the fresh air. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the smell of many giant Sequoias.

As our team prepares to leave the Sequoia National Forest, they have seen many amazing sights. Their journey is just beginning, as there is much to see in California. This is living proof that there are many spectacular destinations, right in your own back yard. We are adventure bound!

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