Our first stop was Sequoia. We were only going in for a few hours. I was horrified to find that we had to spend $30 on a week long pass. While I like to support the national parks, I wish there was a less expensive day pass option. It put me in a bad mood. Connor's response was, "There had better be some really big trees." And there were. We got to see the largest tree by volume, the General Sherman tree.
The theme of the day would be "Fees and Trees"
I had anticipated not having the energy to hike and brought my paints with me. So while Joe went off to hike for a bit, I turned around and set myself up to do a little painting.
Turns out I'm an angry painter. I spend lots of time muttering to myself that I don't know what I'm doing. It is only at the end when I put in the final details that it starts looking right. Midway through the painting, Joe came back and he and Connor hiked a bit while I muttered to myself some more. In the end I think it came out right. I did adjust a shadow or two when we got back to the hotel.
That night Joe, who was still suffering jet lag from being on Eastern Time, went to bed. Connor and I drove from Exeter (which smelled like orange blossoms all around, except at our hotel where it smelled more like manure) to Visalia to eat. We happened upon a nostalgia station (103.3 fm) and were thrilled to find that the Habit Burger we went to was 50s themed.
I love the neon!
The next day we started our next long drive to Lone Pine. We were treated to a rather under photographed bit of California. There are a lot of oil wells in southern California.
As we rounded the bottom of the Sierras, there was some concern over whether we would even get to see the Alabama Hills. I knew that the road going in was dirt, and it looked rainy. In fact, we had a ton of rain pour on us on our way up.
You can see a sign for Gus' jerky. It once said "Best Jerky in the World." Now it says, "Really Good Jerky."
We made a backup plan to go to the Film Museum in Lone Pine first. It was a good plan and we got to see all sorts of movie props from movies made in the area. The boys especially appreciated it as we decided that the roads looked dry enough to get out to the Alabama Hills that day.
To be continued...