The King’s Return



Morning called for me about 7:30 and everyone was up at 8:15. Steve was ready to go well before the rest of us!

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But as 8:30 rolled around we were ready to rock!

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Since dinner was a bit harder to prepare that I thought and the store had less food than I thought we just decided to hit the snack bar for breakfast. The waitress was not in a good mood at all! That being said, we all got through fairly quickly and the food was surprisingly good. The bikes were all lined up outside for one coherent photo!

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Right as we were pulling out Caltrans pulled in with one of the fun trucks!

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Since we didn’t get to see much of the park yesterday I was planning to take my time showing the group some of the major features of the park. We first stopped at Roaring River Falls. The river is always scenic and it is a stop on “Dan’s Tour.”  The light was perfect that morning for a few pictures.

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There’s a morbid photo on the way into the waterfalls that we got a great impersonation of.

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Note: Rivers are serious business.  I’ve almost drowned in one as the water caught me off guard.  There are several sheltered places in rivers to hang in the late season.  The water is extremely cold here.  Use your brain.

Got a number of photos of the group:

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Leaving the river you can see the majesty of the canyon!

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The next stop was Junction View.  Junction View is a great view of the canyon about two thirds of the way from the bottom to the top.  The road climbs on the right side of the photo.

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The group:

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A Japanese, Italian, and German interpretation of the same idea…

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Once at the pass we made a final stop at Grant Grove. Grant Grove is a place of significance to me as we used to hike there every year when I was on staff at Camp over at Sequoia Lake. I’ve done the hike enough it was easy to give the tour with all the details about each of the trees. My favorite is the Fallen Monarch.

The Fallen Monarch is a dead tree that has been in use since the 1800’s as a bar and now tourist attraction.

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The General Grant Tree is always a favorite as the tree is simply enormous!   Photos: Back of Grant Tree with fire scar, Front of Grant Tree

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Michael is just over 6 ft tall for perspective.

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And a parting photo…

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Once we left the park it was back down to the valley and into the heat. We didn’t leave the park until nearly 2 o’clock. To add insult to injury there are four trucks pulling horse trailers that would not pull over and were going 20 miles an hour under the speed limit. I was getting hot in my hunch is the group was as well. We pulled over in Squaw Valley for lunch at Bear Mountain Pizza. The owners a number of years ago drove me to Fresno after a car broke down on the way back from camp. Because of that I wanted to patronize their business once more.

Bear Mountain Pizza (C is average. No grade inflation here):

SeatingN/AWe got there a 2pm so there was no rush.
AtmosphereCComfortable, but nothing particularly unique about the place.
Wait StaffAAgain, great wait staff.  Very on top of keeping us hydrated and fed.  Nothing to complain about.
FoodBThe pizza was good, but a bit thicker in the crust than I usually like
ValueAA large pizza and coke was $12
OverallB+I’ll go back easily when rolling through!

The ride from here was nearly all freeway as it was late in the day and still triple digit heat. We got gas in Fresno, rode to Las Banos, and then made the final push to San Jose. I often wonder where the weekend actually went but looking at the write-up it was about 600 miles of good times with good friends.



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