Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stacy's Springville Cabin & Giant Sequoia National Monument Trip

Group Shot with Christy, Suwei, Keira, Stacy, Dawn, Michael, Tom, Nancy, Ashley, Karl and Gretta.  The only one missing is Bailey.
Santa Clara, CA - Thanks go out to Stacy for using her 40th Birthday as a great excuse for gather up friends at a sweet pad in the mountains!

For the Memorial Day weekend, Stacy rented out the Dennison House at The Three Springs Ranch, just up the hill from Springville, CA.  Springville is about an hour and a half south of Sequoia & King's Canyon National Parks and about an hour and half north of Bakersfield, putting it in an sort of California no man's land that was perfect for the busy holiday weekend.  Not only that, but it was about the same distance from Orange County as it was from the Bay Area which made it just about perfect for our group.

The Road to the Dennison House on The Three Springs Ranch

Our main goal for the weekend was to eat, drink and be merry amongst friends, anything beyond that was just gravy... and we had a fair bit of gravy even thought the weather didn't really want to cooperate.  On Saturday it was cold and overcast, so we figured a long and twisty drive up Hwy 190 to visit Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Trail of the 100 Giant might just do the trick.

Our Lunch Stop on Middle Fork of Tule River

Giant Sequoia National Monument is another one of those kinda-sorta National Monuments that Bill Clinton created (This one was established in 2000).  It has no visitor center and no signage.  It is managed by the Forest Service as part of the Sequoia National Forest and is completely indistinguishable from the rest of the forest, except that the Forest Service charges five dollars to park near the Trail of the 100 Giants and has stationed a ranger there to let you know that your National Parks Pass doesn't actually work there.  You can find it on Google maps, however, if you follow their directions, you'll end up at a tin shack near the Porterville Airport.  Anyway... as with pretty much all of the Sierras it's still well worth a visit.

Photos from the Trail of the 100 Giants, Giant Sequoia National Monument

The Trail of the 100 Giants... ehhh.  Ok, I guess.  I mean how can you miss with 100 or so giant sequoias around and it's nice that there is a trail that is fully handicap accessible, but it's looking a little over-used and definitely doesn't give you the sense of getting away from things.  I guess it's hard to get away when you are only walking a half a mile.  We got some decent pics and well... the trees are very cool.

Chilling out at the Dennison House
On Sunday it rained and we hunkered down and lazed about until mid afternoon when the sun peaked out for a bit.  A small group of us headed into town looking for a honey farm.  We never did find it.  Instead we ended up at the Springville Historical Museum where we found a very interesting selection of old and odd items on display. The highlight though, was chatting with the proprietor about everything from the odd stone castle at the town's edge to the "new" folks that have come into the area within the last 15 years (and built odd castles at the edge of town). She kept the place open an hour after closing just to chat a bit more about Springville. Very nice.

The Springville Historical Museum

Eventually Monday rolled around, the sun came out, and we all had to head our separate ways.  Thanks again Stacy for putting this whole thing together!  We had a blast.

Home Keira!
Here is a link to the slide show:

Stacy's Springville Cabin & Giant Sequoia National Monument Trip

And here is a link to one of the videos that kept us all laughing through the weekend:

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