US Trip 2019 – Day 14 – Among giants

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The route this day took us from Fresno to Bakersfield, via Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Another great day on the road!

Approximate time on road/out caching:  15 hours, 40 minutes
Total miles driven: 305.7 mi / 492 km
Total caches found: 19
Total DNF: 1
States visited: California
Famous places visited: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
Most memorable cache: GCHDCZ Living Large
Biggest surprise: The amount of people in the parks
Weather: Sunny
Highest temperature: 104°F / 40°C
Lowest temperature: 74°F / 23,3°C

Early up

We had a lot we wanted to do, so we left the hotel around 6:30am. The sun was already up, so we had no trouble finding the caches we stopped at. We didn’t spend much time on the highway before heading towards the first park. Not much traffic, and beautiful weather. Couldn’t get it much better than this!

The long way to the end

The first cache in the park, after a stop at the visitor center, was GCJVZ0 California Hoax. And the biggest hoax here, was the D/T rating 😛 The cache took a lot longer than expected, but the area was interesting, so it wasn’t too bad. After this cache, we decided to go all the way out to the end of the road, and find GC4QPY8 Kings Canyon Glacial Moraine.

Slow traffic

The traffic was very light along the way out, but very slow along the way back. It was so slow, that when we finally passed the car in front of us, we managed to stop, find GC2CWJC Radiator Springs (Wren Peak quadrangle map), stamp and re-hide it, and get back onto the road before the car behind catched up. And that was without going above the speed limit!

A lot of people

When we got to the Sequoia visitor center, and GCE0E Ranger’s Fund, we hit a wall of people. The park was apparently celebrating the Dark Sky Festival. We barely found a spot to park.

The giant

The huge amount of people meant that the parking for the General Sherman Tree was full. So we were directed to the shuttle parking a bit further up the road. The shuttle parking was beyond full, so we decided to give the main parking a try. And it actually had more space available than the shuttle parking had!

We made it down to the tree, and yes, this really is a giant tree! And so was the crowd 😛

Winding roads

We had to skip the next cache on the plan, due to the crazy amount of people, and the complete lack of available parking. So we started on the winding roads leading out of the park. It felt almost like driving in Norway. We stopped at GCHNKG Where’s the ER? on our way out, where the crowd was a lot smaller.

Confluence N36 W119

We stopped at a couple caches along the way from the park, and we also stopped at a couple fruit stands. We’ve never heard about plumcot before, so we had to try – it tasted amazing!

We also stopped at GCMQVN Confluence N36 00.000 & W119 00.000, which was a bit fun. The not so fun part was when we ended up with a DNF.

Another airplane museum (closed)

We also stopped at a couple virtual caches, including GCBA31 Human Powered Flight. We also found the cache outside the nearby museum, GC1TH3Q Minter Field Honor Roll. The museum was sadly closed for the day.

Bakersfield

We arrived in Bakersfield as planned, and checked in to our hotel. A bit surprised to see that the hotel had a security guard, we haven’t seen that since New Orleans. After a quick stop at the hotel, we headed towards GC7B83J Bakersfield Neon Arch (Virtual Reward 2017) and the Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace

We had a reservation at the Crystal Palace, so we went inside after first stopping at the virtual. We got the worst seat in the entire building, which made it hard to enjoy the food. The line dancers didn’t care much about anyone but themselves, so they kinda ruined the entire experience for us. It’s not fun when people dance in your food. Judging by the online reviews, this is just something you have to expect here…

Roadwork, roadwork everywhere

Finding the way back to the hotel should have been as easy as just going back where we came from. But it wasn’t. Roadwork everywhere, outdated maps and then some more roadwork. We eventually managed to get over to the right side of the city, and then make our way back to the hotel. But it took a lot longer than it should have.

Pictures

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