A Drive to Sequoia National Park

I thoroughly prepared myself for a day of work. I was going to  work on my quilt.  but Mary called, and off we went to the Sequoia National Park.

These WW ! and Civil Rights pictures will become several quilts to auction off at next year's convention in LA.
These WW ! and Civil Rights pictures will become several quilts to auction off at next year’s convention in LA.

We started at Bravo Lake in Woodlake, admiring the Botanical Gardens.  You have to climb to get to the lake as you walk through the gardens to the walking path around the lake.  Bravo Lake, fed by the Kaweah River, Indian word, eah, meaning river, filled with the raucous caw, cawing of many crows.

Race for Hunger, and Berry-eating festival coming up soon!
Race for Hunger, and Berry-eating festival coming up soon!

Bravo Lake, originally boasting a Spanish was renamed after an old-fashioned pioneer fist fight.  As today, all fights have plenty of onlookers and well-wishers.  This one was no different.  When one of the fighting Irish, Tom Fowler, won, the spectators cheered him with “Bravo, bravo, Tom.  Bravo.”  The Indians living in the area promptly renamed the lake, Bravo Lake.

Botanical Gardens at the foot of Bravo Lake
Botanical Gardens at the foot of Bravo Lake

After hiking a few feet up to the brim of the lake, we took a quick look then got back in the car, and went east towards the mountains.  The beauty of the snow on the mountains almost took my breath away, and  I wanted to stop in the middle of the road, but Mary wouldn’t let me!

Bravo Lake adjusted with layers reducing the saturation of blue.
Bravo Lake adjusted with layers reducing the saturation of blue.

Mary snapped a few pictures along the way, but I was driving, but you have seen this trip before.  When we got to the first stop for Kaweah Lake, we found the Natural History museum open.

Welcome to the Natural History Museum at Kaweah Lake  Kaw, kaw, snap.
Welcome to the Natural History Museum at Kaweah Lake Kaw, kaw, snap.

It was closed when Vince, Kalev, and I visited the last time.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the museum purchasing books, and chatting with the volunteer about the dam built on the river in the 1950s to alleviate the flooding problems that had plagued the valley since 1852, when it was first settled by white settlers.  I took pictures of the notebook of old photos.  You can see the lake in the background of some of them.  I’m only including one picture in this overview post.

Can you see the reflection of Kaweah Lake off the photo?
Can you see the reflection of Kaweah Lake off the photo?

Back on the road to Three Rivers we stopped at another POI, point of interest, that Mary found on an iPhone app, a giant cow.  I thought this bull/cow was rather vulgar looking given the pipes coming and going from him/her.  I found the exhaust pipe especially humorous since cows are especially huge methane producers here in the valley, causing more air pollution than automobiles.  Apparently this bovine used to be a hamburger stand, which explains some of his/her extraneous appendages.

This place will whet your appetite!
This place will whet your appetite!

Mary, you wanted a what?

He's a catch, Mary!  :)
He’s a catch, Mary! 🙂

Then we traveled on to the next museum where they were setting up for a Veteran’s appreciation program at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

Isn't' this a cool sign.  Unfortunately the sky wasn't as pretty as Paul's just a few feet away because I was shooting into the sun.  Lucky for me Photoshop came to the rescue.  I'l show you the before and after in a different post.
Isn’t’ this a cool sign?  Unfortunately the sky wasn’t as pretty as Paul’s just a few feet away because I was shooting into the sun. Lucky for me, Photoshop came to the rescue. I’l show you the before and after in a different post.

The outside attraction here was a giant statue of Paul Bunyan.

Paul is cracking up a bit, but he was carved in 1941 from one log!  He weighs tons.  I guess I'm skinny in comparison.
This sky is natural.  Paul is cracking up a bit, but he was carved in 1941 from one log! He weighs tons. I guess I’m skinny in comparison.

Displayed on the east side of the building were both summer and winter Native American huts.  So in which one would you rather spend the winter?  You can read more about Yokuts housing on TC History Gal Productions.

Tule reeds and bark huts.
Tule reeds and bark huts.

We finally made it to my favorite stop, the Gateway Restaurant at the mouth of the Kaweah River.  Mary tried to dutifully check us in and post our food on Facebook, but wifi there didn’t work with iPhone.

The noise here is the sound of rushing water.
The noise here is the sound of rushing water.

You can see that when the water levels are up to normal – the white line on the rocks, that this would be an exciting ride in a raft.  OK, I couldn’t actually SEE the line, but the waitress assured us that it was there.  The stack of rocks piled on the boulders are for wishing.  So make a wish, but don’t tell anyone what it is.  Let me know if it comes true, though!

Can you find the stack of wishing rocks?
Can you find the stack of wishing rocks?

While we ate our fish lunch at 3:00 p.m., we read about the famous Utopian Socialist Colony founded in Three Rivers called the Kaweah Commonwealth in 1896.  They wanted to earn money for themselves cutting down the huge trees, and thus they motivated John Muir, and eventually Teddy Roosevelt to protect the gentle giants from eternal destruction by declaring the colony’s purchased property a National Park.  (The U.S. Government could do that.)  Six years after they started their colony, it ended with only a minor internal bickering.  Utopia didn’t make it here around Three Rivers.  I personally thought they were much too capitalistic. – cutting down our fine trees for profit.  Apparently not everyone wanted to labor at all, another cause of internal irritation.

A bargain shopping spree for seniors over age 62.  $10 for a lifetime pass to the National Parks.  I'm coming back when I'm older!  :)
A bargain shopping spree for seniors over age 62. $10 for a lifetime pass to the National Parks. I’m coming back when I’m older! 🙂

We could have gone back, but chose to go the 1/4 mile east from the restaurant to the entrance of the National Park.  That was the most expensive short date I’ve had – ever!  Mary paid $80 for an annual pass to get in.  We went to the station, stayed 10 minutes until it closed, then turned around and headed for the chocolate candy store before it closed.  Had I been a mere 6 months older, I could have bought a LIFETIME pass to ALL the National Parks for $10.  The only bad part of that was that the man asked me if I wanted to purchase one.  He didn’t even ask Mary who is just about my age, 30 something.  Why would he think I look 62, anyway?  I’m going on a diet as soon as I finish my chocolate candy.

Agree/Disagree?
Agree/Disagree?

You can tell that all these great times have taken their toll on my tummy.  I’m almost as big as Paul Bunyan!  Diet, diet, diet.  (tomorrow).

OK, kids don't see the humor in this sign.  Go figure!
OK, kids don’t see the humor in this sign. Go figure!  Looking at chocolate makes me shake with excitement.  Sorry for the blurry picture.  Couldn’t be helped!  🙂

“Unattended children will be given candy and a free puppy!”  Do I look 10?  What about a second childhood?  After a long wait in line to buy chocolates for Vince (hahaha), we headed back home.  What a fun surprise.  Did you enjoy the trip with me?  I hope so!  🙂

Happy Easter from Three Rivers, California, and me, Marsha Lee :)
Happy Easter from Three Rivers, California, and me, Marsha Lee 🙂 (not pictured here)

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, and I'm working on retirement. heheh Read more about me here. http://wp.me/P7tP3I-2

22 thoughts on “A Drive to Sequoia National Park”

  1. What a fun day!!! We went to Three Rivers with our friends today and just finished a fantastic dinner and chocolate from Reimers!
    Happy Easter!

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    1. Happy Easter to you, too! I ate my chocolate peanut butter cup for breakfast. I think that might not have been the best thing to do, but it was the best tasting peanut butter cup I ever had! 🙂 Have fun with your friends. I can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂

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  2. It was nice to read about your great day out Marsha. 😀
    A true balanced diet is a sole on each foot 😉
    (pun: sole=fish. Got to explain it to chocolate covered Californians 😉 ) Ralph xox

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    1. I had a sole-ful lunch, thank you very much, Mr. English-Spaniard. With chips, no less. Fish with ships might be better, but these sole patties tasted pretty great! Eat chocolate for Easter, Ralph! Think it as medicine for your sole! 🙂

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  3. Happy Easter to you too Marsha! Looks like you had a fantastic day! I have a memory from childhood of a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe. My dad’s family lived in Minnesota and we visited there and went to the park with the statue. To this day, I always associate MN with PB!

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    1. I loved the story as a child. But never having actually been to MN, I just had to use the pictures in the book to fuel my imagination. Now I have pictures of him. I have one with me with him, but I’ve been eating too much chocolate, and it shows, so I can’t post it! 🙂 I look like the perfect Mrs. Bunyan. 🙂

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  4. Thanks so much for taking me along for the ride with you on this great day, Marsha! I loved that peaceful picture of Bravo Lake and then looking up at Paul Bunyan! Wow – what a great day you must have had 😀

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    1. We have some great places to visit around here. I could pose as a chamber of commerce. I love it here, having grown up in Indiana, where the land is flat, and the weather is muggy.

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  5. Aye, DEEPLY enjoyed it! What a wonderful delight this post was, I nearly fainted when I saw “Sequoia National Park” in the title at the top of your blog when I casually tottled in for a bit of gawping. Grooove!! Very entertainting. That shot with the water, fabulous!! And the scene with the wishing rocks, I could poised there in toadie bliss for days. P.S. LOVE the name. Anything to do with crowies. I wanted to kiss some crows just today, but Sir, like Mary, did not wish to stop, BLAST!

    OF COURSE Mr. Fowler won, IRISH 😉 Arg, aye, a very fabulous story.

    Love the beauty, the lighting, and the energy of the photos and writing, your trip sounds so blasted fun (and the humour is superb, but of course, grinning away)!!

    Groovy, groovy, many ebullient cheers,

    Autumn Jade

    P.S. A most gruntling Easter to you, V, and Kalev, ta la!

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    1. Ebullient cheers and a gruntling Easter to you, Sir, Fyodor, and the rest of the family, too! Yes, the trip was amazing. You would love my friend. She is just like you – enthusiastic about EVERYTHING! Is that a rock on the road? It’s the MOST FABULOUS rock that every existed! Is that a speck of dust on the windshield? No problem, it will just add interest to the picture. I have ALWAYS wanted to see the COW in Three Rivers! I can’t wait to get there! That’s my friend! So now you know why I’m so fun (and I am). It’s because I hangout with such wonderful friends. 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs to you all! 🙂

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