This blog is about my travels. At home in New Zealand, in other parts of Oceania, North, Central and South America and in Europe.
In August I went on a hiking trip to the tablelands in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Sequoia National Park. It was organised by the legendary Sierra club, an amazing organisation that has an amazing history of fighting for the environment as well as founding the world's first national park. It also runs a lot of great hiking trips in America, and in other parts of the world. The tablelands are a special area, and the Sierra club was able to get special permits so we were some of the privileged view who could go to this amazing place.
Our campsite was amongst huge Sequoia trees, and not too far from the largest Sequoia, and largest tree in the world.
The next morning we packed up and had breakfast. We saw a black bear, wandering nearish the campsite. They are attracted by foodscraps and rubbish that campers leave behind, a good reminder not to do this!
We packed up and headed off up the track, our packs at their heaviest because of all our food for the next few days. We hadn't been going long before we saw a deer just off the trail. I don't know which type they are, but they are much less timid than NZ deer, that's for sure!
One thing I really like about hiking in America is the amount of wildflowers all the way along the path. I think there was also some kind of wild peppermint that smelt amazing as we brushed past.
We stopped for lunch overlooking an amazing view of the Sierra Nevada mountains, we'd already gained a lot of height. The sky was blazing blue, it was hot and dry, typically perfect Californian weather!
For some reason I'd decided to pack a whole mango and a lime, not the most lightweight snack, but I've got to say, it was pretty delicious sitting in the sun and eating a mango with fresh lime juice squeezed on it at lunch.
We got to our campsite in good time. It was a great spot, a lot of a higher elevation than our first campsite. There were also terrific views across the valley.
The next day I woke up bright and early and wandered around the campsite taking photos of the dawn. We headed off, wading through a field of wildflowers, and meandering on upwards.
We headed on upwards steadily. As we climbed higher, the hillside started to turn into the granite tablelands. We even started to see some patches of residual snow. The air was crisp because of the altitude, but the sun shone brightly, the granite radiated heat and the sky was bright blue. It was a beautiful day.
After a lot of uphill climbing we got to a beautiful turquoise blue alpine lake, (or tarn as we'd say in New Zealand). This was our campsite. After all the uphill in the sun, it was also nice to take a dip in the incredibly clear water. This is a place that only the lucky few are able to visit.
The next day was a shorter day across the tablelands.
Our group headed out over the table lands, up hill and down dale. At one point we found sign of what we think might have been a mountain lion. I was kind of curious to see one, although I hear that they sometimes attack humans. We arrived at our camp and put up our tents, and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. There was a crescent moon as the sunset, and after that we saw a huge number of stars. One of our group was an astronomer so was able to share a whole lot of useful information about space the Northern stars (especially interesting for someone from the Southern hemisphere like me!).
The next day we set off, and we were heading downhill from the tablelands this time. It was another gorgeous day. We also saw a snake, an unusual sight for me, because of course there are no snakes in New Zealand. In some places we had undulating granite steps to walk down, because it was so dry, it was easy to walk on, but I think it would be slippery in the rain.
As we dropped in altitude, we started to see more trees and plants. We stopped for a break beside a beautiful stream.
There were more and more trees as we started to head back into the bushline. We kept heading downhill until we got to a really cute little log cabin. This is where the ranger stays.
We got to our campsite which was located near a lovely lake and set up our tents and then went for a swim in the lake, which was delightful after such a hot day.
At about 4am it started to pour with rain, the first rain we had seen on the whole trip. It was good timing because it was our last day. The rain cleared and the sun came out and there was a beautiful rainbow above the lake.
We kept on heading down until we were back amongst the tall Sequoia trees. On the last few minutes of the trail were the same as the start of the track. I saw a deer again, it was completely unafraid and stared at me curiously. It might have been the one I saw on the first day.
The next day I headed out, very bright and early, for some climbing in Yosemite valley which isn't too far from Sequoia National park.
We did some slab climbing near Camp 4 in the hot sun. It was so hot it was almost too hot to touch the granite. Even just a taste of the climbing on the seas of granite in Yosemite was great. I'd love to go back one day and do more climbing there though.
I am a traveller from New Zealand. My blog is to inform friends and family about my adventures. I hope you enjoy it!