Hello! First I need to say what a fantastic time we had at the Bennett house in Ojai! Great talks, great food, great people. Thank you, Roy and Norma for opening your home and hearts to us.
Now onto the parks. What can one say when faced with the true magnificence of God's creation? Really? It was overwhelming. The Sequoia Trees are by far the most amazing trees I have ever seen in my life. They are not only huge, but gorgeous in color, shape and stature. As you can see from the photos (which don't even come close to portraying their true elegance and beauty), we were seriously dwarfed by them and I was in utter awe every time I saw one. I was under the wrong impression (by MY doing solely) that there would be tons and tons of Sequoia trees all in a big forest, but that isn't the case. There are a lot, but not like the Redwoods or any other forest of a specific tree. I can see why...they are go gigantic that there simply would be no room for anything else. You all know by now that I love trees...I truly feel they are majestic and wonderful. At the end of this Blog I am posting a poem I wrote two years ago while sitting in our backyard in Delray Beach admiring our neighbors tree, however, it now takes on a completely new meaning for me now.
Kings Canyon...Kings Canyon...Wow. As much as I loved Sequoia, Kings Canyon BLEW ME AWAY! James and I both agree this is our favorite park of the two. Actually, and specifically, 90% of the road that leads into Kings Canyon is in Sequoia National FOREST (not Park), so I guess we love the Forest. Kings Canyon has everything...trees, rugged mountains, a flowing and awesome river. Awe inspiring it was/is. I had never heard of it before this trip, so I encourage anyone thinking of seeing Sequoia, please make sure you visit Kings Canyon. I promise you won't be sorry.
We drove down the craziest road in the nation yesterday. It is California Highway 245. It is only 48 miles long, but 31 miles consists of NOTHING but hairpin turns. I'm not saying curves...I'm talking all out, white-knuckle hairpin turns...for 31 miles. You simply can't do more than 20 miles an hour, which means it takes over 2 hours to go 48 miles, without burning out your breaks, blowing a tire or dumping your transmission. Actually, we even had a small problem with Sarai on that road. Of course, when we first got on the road, with James behind the wheel, I was like, "FASTER...MAKE THE TIRES SQUEAL," to which James happily responded by pressing his foot on the pedal. Well, needless to say, about 5 miles in Sarai starting making a very disturbing noise. Mind you, the cat converter (catalytic for you non-mechanics) has been out/on the way out since we owned the car, so when we starting hearing this knocking and clanking about under the driver seat, we figured that we must of knocked something loose.
Well, I have now earned the name "Car Whisperer" since I have a way of diagnosing strange and unusual behaviors in the car that most self respecting mechanics would simply laugh at...yet, they all turn out to be right. We had been driving on some pretty rough and rocky roads so I said that a rock must of gotten up inside the cat SOMEHOW and that is what we were hearing and that maybe it will work itself out. James (God love him) bites his lip trying not to laugh in my face. Well, we pull over just to check under the hood to make sure there isn't something rattling around in there, and I take the opportunity to jump behind the wheel because you know I have to drive this road!! We take off and klink-klank, rattle-tattle it goes...sounds horrible! After about 5 minutes of my driving...silence. The noise has stopped. For good. Nothing. Nada. Now, it was running a bit sluggish so I decided it might be best for James to drive it again, and after a while, it was fine. She is a bit slow to start, but once she does, she runs like a charm and now klinking or klanking to be heard. I think God finds it totally amusing to use me, someone basically clueless about cars, to bestow His revelations too when it comes to our little car. I think it is down right hilarious! James...not so much.
The sound you were hearing wasn't a rock and it hasn't gone away. It's just not as bad. The problem, as your husband suggested, is in the guts of the cat-converter. -- God
We decided we needed to hike in a very serious way since both of us has gained some extra weight, so we picked a trail in Sequoia called Buena Vista Trail...it was described as being a fairly easy, 2 mile loop trail with no significant elevation changes and provided the most spectacular view atop a peak...PERFECT! We set out to do that today. Of course, it took us nearly all day to find it, but once we did at 4:00pm, we hit the trail. Well, leave it to us to wonder off the trail and come to what we believe is THE trail, yet consisted of rock climbing straight up for about 100 yards. Yep. We did it. I have never rock climbed before and let me tell you, I'm not sure I will again. It was steep...steeeeeep...but honestly, oh so fun! We made it up with no sprained ankles, bruised body parts, bloody knees...we were injury free. Again, I think our Guardian Angel went out for a double after that one! But, boy was it worth it. We had lunch...or dinner...wait, LINNER on top of the peak enjoying the view and admiring our accomplishment. We did, thankfully, find the correct trail for the hike down because there is no way this girl would have made it going DOWN the way we went up!
Tomorrow we head to Yosemite National Park. Thanks to our new, and wonderful, friend, Dar Frye, we have a couple of excellent trails to hike. Neither of us have been to Yosemite, so it will be a new and exciting adventure for both of us. I hope to drive more because I SO LOVE driving and I really, really love giving James a chance to take in the scenery. It is a beautiful country we live it and I don't want him to miss it all because he is driving.
Did I tell you we are driving fools? I'm serious. Even when we aren't driving Abram from one location to another, we are putting at LEAST 150-200 miles on Sarai a day/trip. I think when we are all done with this trip, we will have racked up over 20,000 miles with both cars. Crazy. But, as James says, "That's how we roll."
God bless you all! We love you and miss you! A very special shout out to my amazing Great Nephew, Ryder Alan, who turned 2 years old today! We love you Little Man!!! Your emails, posts and comments are, as always, so very appreciated!
Poem on Trees (Jennifer Johnson 2008)
It seems to me that trees could be
In constant prayer and praise to Thee.
Their trunks so strong, growing heaven bound
To where their Creator and Maker is found.
Their leaves whisper and sing as they dance in the wind,
Their branches sway and flow, hold firm or bend.
With their quiet strength and sturdy might,
They give You honor and glory to Your delight.
What an example these trees are to us all,
Who have lost our way in midst of the fall.
So when I feel lost and distant, apart from Thee
I look at a tree and witness what true worship be.