Monday Bests: Labor Day Weekend in Sequoia

Unbeknownst to many, I’ve had a house guest for over a month and it was, at times, miserable. I’m particular – I need quiet afternoons for naps and working out, and I’m a bit of a neat freak. When my guest left on Friday morning, I felt relief. I had taken the day off, slept in, and cleaned intensely. Then it was off to a camping trip to shake off the negativity, unplug a little, and wake and sleep according to the sun and moon.

THIS WAS THE BEST CAMPING TRIP/MEETUP EVER.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were on my “to go” list in June, but I didn’t make it. Fortunately, I found a Meetup group event that handled everything – reservations, hikes, and had extra gear in case we forgot something… which I always do. I forgot a jacket and utensils!

Getting out of LA was a nightmare – it took over 6 hours to reach camp! Luckily, we were the first ones there at 8:3 P.M. so despite it being dark, we were able to scout the site for a place to put up the tent.

On Saturday morning, we drove to Sequoia National Park and took the shuttle to see General Sherman and other giant sequoias. We took a short hike to Sunset Rock for great views and lunch.

At sunset, we walked up to Moro Rock. It was a long waiting process – the road to the rock opens at 6:30 P.M. unless you want to hike a few hours. It was worth the wait – we rejuvenated ourselves at the Lodgepole Visitor Center and Market and nearby creek.

On Sunday, we stayed in Kings Canyon and hiked the Mist Trail. It was a hot one complete with a waterfall and bear sighting!

In the evenings, we were exhausted but after changing, we joined the group for dinner, sharing snacks, and sitting around the campfire until 2 A.M. (12:30 for me) eating s’mores, telling stories, and playing games. The group was perfect, with a mix of people from Russia, Portugal, Germany, Australia, and plain ol’ Americans. They were unique in their humor and personalities, and I loved them all! I’ve never laughed as much!

I definitely met the most interesting man in the world, a 30-year-old Russian land surveyor from a small village who has hiked from the North Arctic to South China for work. He was silly, unembarrassed, and spontaneously decided to backpack 50+ miles to Yosemite from our location!

I finished off the weekend with orange chicken, soft serve, buying a new mattress, and binging “The Good Place.”

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