Archive for August, 2009

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Sophie in Balboa Park

August 16, 2009

On August 13th we headed down to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park to see the exhibition “Ansel Adams: A Life’s Work.” It was a great show, and Sophie showed a remarkable amount of patience while her parents walked around and looked at old black and white photos stuck up on the walls.

To let her burn off some energy, we took a walk around Balboa Park. Below are some pictures of Sophie posing in front of the koi pond and some of the many fountains in the park.

Here is a link to the full album:

2009-08-13 Balboa Park
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon

August 16, 2009

On August 6th we decided to head out on a little vacation and drove up to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Sequoia is about 350 miles north of San Diego, so Thursday was basically just a travel day.

(For those of you who are paying attention, this means we just skipped from April to August on the blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back and post some stuff from those four months someday, but I figured posting some current stuff might be more useful than remaining four months behind real time forever.)

On Friday we headed into Sequoia. Our plan was to see all of the most popular attractions on Friday before the big crowds showed up on the weekend. Here we are at the front entrance. (We also went back to Sequoia on Sunday, and I have included some of those pictures here.)

Our first stop was the General Sherman tree. It is believed to be the largest living thing on the face of the earth, by weight/volume.

It is also the most popular attraction at the park, so much so that they have paved a nice path through the woods to get to it. Here we are posing in front of it.

They have a cross section of a Giant Sequoia so you can get a better sense of how big around they truly are.

After seeing the General, we hiked around Big Trees Trail, where we saw a black bear walking through the meadow. He was probably only about 100 feet away so we were able to get a good view. (Although we kept looking over our shoulders in case there was an angry mama bear sneaking up on us!)

After our hike we drove around the park a little. We saw the Auto Log, which is a fallen Giant Sequoia that you used to be able to drive your car onto (now you can just walk on it.) We also saw the Tunnel Log, which is a fallen Sequoia that you can drive through (which you can still do.)

Our next stop was Moro Rock, a giant granite dome that overlooks the valley. There are stairs carved into the rock that you can climb to the top. Unfortunately, it was very overcast that day, so our view wasn’t quite as good as we hoped, but it was still quite impressive.

We also saw Tunnel Rock. The park road used to go under here, but has since been move to the side. (you can see the marks on the underside of the rock where people underestimated the height of either the rock or their cars.)

On Saturday, we headed up to Kings Canyon National Park. The two parks are adjacent, but a different road leads to the Kings Canyon entrance.

Our first stop was the General Grant tree. While not quite as big as the General Sherman, it is almost as big. It has been declared “America’s Christmas Tree” and is also the only living National Shrine.

After the General Grant Grove, we drove out to to Panoramic Point, where you can get a great view into the canyon.

The next thing we did was to drive down into Kings Canyon. The drive takes a couple of hours along some winding, steep roads, but the views were amazing.

Down at the bottom of the canyon, there were some short hikes to some interesting attractions. One was this old cabin, which was built back in the 20’s to store gear used for expeditions into the canyon.

There were also two different waterfalls at the bottom of the canyon. The first was Roaring River falls, which was an amazing waterfall that flowed into a large bowl area.

The other was Grizzly falls, which didn’t have nearly the same volume as Roaring River, but was much taller and cascaded down multiple levels.

Finally, after a long weekend of adventure, we stopped in at the Kings Canyon Inn for an ice cream cone!

Be sure to check out the full album for lots more pictures.

2009-08-07 Sequoia – Kings Canyon