Archive for June, 2012

Now That’s a Big F#%$ing Tree! (Or, Those are Some Tiny People!)

This is me throwing down the gauntlet at Evergreen Lodge: “I need a trail that is halfway between here and Yosemite Valley, that won’t be packed even though it’s June, and isn’t too hard or too easy.”

Their recommendation, without hesitation, was the Merced Sequoia grove accessed from the Highway 120 entrance to the park. “A smaller grove,” they said, “but it is the least traveled Sequoia trail in the park.”

Bingo! We had a winner. Zelda, the rest of the fam and I set a date to commune with some of the oldest living things on earth on a 3 mile round trip jaunt on what we here in the Pacific Northwest would call a loggin’ road.

These mighty trees did not disappoint. So much so, in fact, that we quickly realized it was impossible to truly capture the scale of this mammoth flora without wee little folks in our photographs for comparison. For instance, in the picture above left, you don’t really process how big the trees are until you notice the positively ant-like Zelda and Deborah at the foot of a mighty Sequoia on the left.

Their bark was a vibrant shade of rusty orange and it felt almost like a padded coconut, fibery and airy at the same time.

All in all, a fantastic outing…well, except for the fact that this hike was 100 percent uphill on the way home. We were sweaty and hot…but still happy to have had such a solitary experience in the Merced Grove.

Thelma & Louise, Butch & Sundance, and now, Mich & Zelda!

What was to be a family vacation to Yosemite, in part to attend a family reunion, ended up becoming a mother-daughter adventure instead.

How? Why?

Well, Zoe’s school put together an 11th hour Chinese exchange program for students…and their departure date? Right smack dab in the middle of our reunion. Which meant that half of the Offermann/Reeves family now needed to stay home, so Tom could put Zoe on a plane for Shanghai with 14 other middle schoolers last weekend.

Meanwhile, Zelda and I took off for Sacramento, where we spent the night before meeting up with my Mum, Dad, Brother and Sister-in-law for a family caravan to Yosemite.

Condensed highlights of the drive to Yosemite:

  • We got separated several times.
  • I lost the new camera Tom had purchased the day I departed on my trip.
  • I had to stop and call every place I had been in Sacramento onward to try and locate camera. I was unsuccessful.
  • I found the camera…in the car…in a place Zelda and I had looked about a thousand times. Oopsy.
  • We ate lunch in a Costco parking lot in Manteca outside my parents’ cute little Casita. (pictured above)
  • We had to navigate without GPS toward the end. (How did I live without my turn-by-turn voice navigation on my telephone?)

Never a dull moment.

Finally though, we made it to the Evergreen Lodge, which is near the Hetch Hetchy entrance to the park. We loved it there. Even though it was high season, Evergreen and surrounding attractions were blissfully remote and quiet without the hullabaloo found in Yosemite Valley. In short, the perfect spot to enjoy a major national park in June.

I think one of my favorite moments was Zelda making herself at home in her room. All she needed were her books on the nightstand and her stuffed animal on the bed, and she was good to go! My little traveler.