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Sequoia/Kings Canyon Trip 2

Day 1 of 4

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Friday, July 2nd
Dead Giant / North Grove

Jean and I arrived at the park entrance on 180 at 1pm, hoping to get a campsite at Lodgepole campground. The reservable sites were already booked, so our only chance was to get one of the first-come, first-served sites. Unfortunately, the ranger at the gate informed us that it was full, as well as Dorst. People must have come on Thursday and taken spots then.

So we drove a short ways to Crystal Springs Campground at Grant Grove. This is a less-developed campground with 63 sites, and a 45-50 minute drive from the trailheads we'd be using. After driving around a bit, we settled on site 31. It's one of the largest, and only has one neighbor (site 30). As Jean and I set up our tent, we discovered one of the downsides of site 31. Giant pine cones dropped from a hundred feet up, to come crashing to the ground with a loud thud. It was like dodging incoming artillery (well, okay, I have no first-hand knowledge of artillery-dodging, but I can imagine).

We set up our tent away from the line of fire, and drove to the nearby store to use the pay phone and tell Jennie where we were. Don't count on cell phones working here.

While Jean guarded the tent (i.e., slept), I hiked the Dead Giant / North Grove trails.

Gourmet Jean cooking up a storm

After a dinner of salmon, potatoes, squash, and corn on the cob, we settled down in our tent. We had just a single neighbor that night. CJ, Jennie and Weihaw arrived at 12:30am. We warned them of the falling pine cones (they primarily fall during the day) before they pitched their tents.

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