Sometimes things are not what you think them to be! We found this to be true in Fresno, California. Typically thought of as a farming community in a not so well off county. We expected a small town with little to attract tourists. Boy, were we wrong!
Fresno really impressed us. There was much to do and enjoy. The town has grown and will continue to grow. There was only one disappointment: The Tower District which is supposed to be the hub of Fresno night life complete with the iconic Tower Theater. We went there during the late evening, hoping to catch some of the sights before dark. Then I wanted to shoot all the neon that the brochure pictured. The Tower Theater was not well kept and dirty, and after the fourth police car went through, we decided to leave.
“You can’t go home again!” You’ve heard that old saying, and going to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks was like going home for Richard and me. We used to take the kids camping there pretty much every summer. I just loved it there, but we haven’t visited in more than 30 years.
The good news is that nothing has changed in the parks. The same trails are there, campgrounds are the same and the sights are still beautiful. The bad news is that we have changed–we’ve gotten older! Oh, and the altitude is about 1,000 feet less than Bodie. We took a few simple walks and decided that we needed to get into shape. My goal is to do Little Baldy Saddle. It’s a beautiful walk through the woods and then about 1,000 feet straight up via a switch back trail. At least that’s the way I remember it!
Why haven’t we been there? Well, our previous trailer was too big to get into the park and Richard is on a CPAP machine at night, needing a generator to run it. I was told over the phone that they would not make exceptions for medical purposes and no generators could be run at night (there are no hookups). However, it was a different story when we talked with the rangers in person. We can camp there, and we found just the right spot that would accommodate our much smaller rig. That’s why we were in Fresno at an RV park. And staying in the National Park will eliminate the 1 1/2 hour ride each way on Highway 180. I will talk about how Fresno surprised us in another edition of this post.
Right now I want to introduce you to Sequoia if you haven’t been there. This park is home to the earth’s largest tree in wood volume. The General Sherman Tree is estimated to be 2,200 years old. Sequoia is also the second oldest National Park, being given the status in September 1890. The Sequoia tree is resistant to most disease and even fire because of the chemicals in their wood and bark. Different from the coastal redwoods, which are tall and thinner, the Sequoia is wide with a massive trunk, huge stout branches and is not as tall.
Take a look at these magnificent trees found only on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada usually between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. But, why when they get older, they get stronger; and, when we get older….?