Okay, FINALLY... CHAPTER 2 of What I Did Over Summer Vacation

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Okay, so I got a little sidetracked with difficult child-Dad drama...

    But my story continues.

    We got up the next morning and headed up the mountain for Sequoia National Park. Home of the Giant Redwoods. And I do mean GIANT. Not only are they BIG, but they practically live FOREVER. Many of the mature sequoias in the park are over 2,000 years old. When they rarely topple over, it's usually due to repeated weakening from lightening strikes (they are practically the tallest trees in the forest) or wild fires. They are resistant to termites and mold/fungus. So they are essentially inedible and unrottable.

    The only older living trees are on the next mountain range east of the Sierras -- the Bristle Cone Pines located in the White Mountain range. The oldest known Bristle Cone is 4,600 years old!

    (Don't even ask me what our gas mileage was... suffice to say it was lousy!)

    We stopped at several of the major campgrounds only to find that they were full. So we decided to head for a more isolated campground on a 10-mile road to the main lake in the park. It only had 10 campsites and we were in luck that two spots were open. We chose the one closest to the bathrooms (!) and it also was surrounded by two creeks (or cricks, as husband likes to say), which made for a very soothing sound.

    So we settled in for our first night of camping. I cooked up a trout that difficult child 1 caught earlier in the day. We foil baked potatoes in the camp fire and roasted marshmallows. We cleaned up our food and stored it all carefully covered up in the car since there were no bear lockers, and we were advised that if a bear could SEE a cooler in a vehicle, it knew that food was inside and they'd break the windows to get it. Then we all turned in for what promised to be a good night's sleep. The air was cool and crisp (got down to 38 degrees at night, so no bugs!). The babbling brook lulled us all to sleep.

    Apparently, the two women who were camping with their kids across the creek from us forgot that bears have an excellent sense of smell. They'd stored all their food in a tent, but the food was opened. Even I can smell Doritos when they're open, so you can imagine what the mamma bear and her cub realized when they wandered through that campsite at 1:00 in the morning. Those chicks may as well have rung the friggin' dinner bell! :hammer:

    Needless to say, the bears tore through the "food tent" of theirs and enjoyed a meal while the crazy women ran around like wet hens banging on pots and pans and screaming in the middle of the night.

    I think husband, difficult child 2 and I finally got back to sleep around 3:30am. The other two kids never woke up.

    The next day we headed for nearby Lake Hume for some fishing, kayaking and swimming.

    We ended up dining out that evening, so there wasn't any food to put away when it was time for bed. But guess what? Bears have REALLY GOOD memories when it comes to where they had their last tasty meal. So ol' mamma bear and her cub(s) returned that night, and we were treated to another pot and pan overture by the screaming banshees across the creek at about 2am this time. And yes, they'd stored all their food this time. But the bears just had to check to be sure.

    That night, I think I woke up about 10 times until the sun came up. I started to feel very closed up inside that tent. :scared:

    The next day, we went on a cave tour at Crystal Caves. It was an amazing example of the power of water and chemistry.

    On the way back from the caves, we happened upon two young mule deer bucks on the side of the road. One of them thought he was pretty hot stuff, despite his relatively small and velvety rack.

    That night, perhaps due to the lack of sleep or the anticipation of another rude awakening by our bearish neighbors, I discovered that I was suddenly and quite literally claustrophobic in the tent. A full-blown panic attack hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I was going to suffocate! I bolted out of the tent and stood there in the dark practically hyperventilating. :faint:

    Didn't get much sleep that night, and yes, the gals across the way were at it again. Thankfully, they left the next morning, but then so did we. On our way out of the park, we decided to take a day trip down into Kings Canyon (the national park next-door to Sequoia) and explore the Merced river for the afternoon.

    Our next stop was to be Yosemite National Park...
     
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful pictures! Looks like you had a great time!
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WOW!!! Thanks for sharing your pics, those are incredible!! I hope you don't mind if I share them with husband. He will LOVE them.

    That was the kind of vacation the kids will remember and talk about for the rest of their lives.

    Including the idiot Dorito munching women and the bears who loved them!! Soon that part will grow to have the bears smelling the Doritos from ten miles away and bringing ALL their bear friends with them the next night to enjoy the seconds.

    Thanks for sharing your trip of a lifetime with us. Do you have pics of Yosemite we can see?
     
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's Chapter 3.... stay tuned!
     
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Okay - to the dorito munching bear - I thought you were in the Charmin commercials - but apparently it was your down time

    To your daughter popping out of the tent - YOU ARE A DOLL!

    To your son in the chair -MAN THAT IS SOME BALANCING ACT - total talent.

    TO THE KAYAK on top the SUV - I THINK YOU ARE A KAZOO

    To your HUsband in the 24 Chair - OMG GET A REAL DRIVER

    TO your OTHER SON Near the river - YOU ARE VERY BRAVE WATER WALKER

    To the Mule deer - You are all that AND a bag of chips - but watch out for the bear

    I'm so glad you are home.....

    We missed you

    & to YOu - OMG you REALLY cooked a TROUT??? Did you do that salmon recipe from the Healthy living forum with a lime and pat of butter in the microwave for 5 minutes? :alien:
     
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    What a great trip for the kids. They will have memories to last a lifetime.
     
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    As if! Nope, just butter, salt and peppah. Forgot to even break out the lemons I brought...

    That's the only one we ate on the trip. We didnt catch any more fish until... oh, I think Chapter 5... ;) Those got frozen and brought home for lay-tah...
     
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    So now we get you the shirt:

    FISH FEAR ME
    MEN LOVE ME

    wait its

    FISH LOVE ME
    MEN FEAR ME

    no no no

    BEARS AND FISH FEAR ME
    MEN AND KIDS LOVE ME
    ummmm

    BEARS FISH KIDS AND MEN FEAR ME
    ALL OTHERS WORSHIP ME
    alllllllmost...

    BEARS KIDS MEN AND OTHERS WORSHIP AND FEAR ME
    FISH WILL BE FRIED OR FROZEN

    Yeah that's a keeper.
     
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :rofl:

    Sounds very much like the t-shirt I got for husband:

    They were out of his size in the shirt I REALLY wanted to get for him:

     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I am sooooooooooo gonna try painting a couple of those photos!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Looks like you had a blast!!!! Can't wait for the rest. :D
     
  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    That's awesome! Pics are awesome. It looks like you all had a blast (except for the bear thing).
     
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