Fresh from 14 days of campground living, we are so ready for our next 7 days dry camping in Sequoia National Park.
Dry camping is a reboot button for the soul. You are completely immersed in nature, living off nothing but your tiny home and the very small resources that you have.
We were already quite mindful of our carbon footprint, but boondocking brings it to the next level. You realize how quickly you can run out of fresh water, electricity and even the ability to use a toilet or shower is one you don’t take for granted.
It’s such a great exercise for the kids, and they have quickly adapted to this new lifestyle. They don’t take anything for granted and waste absolutely nothing. We finally bought a 120 amp solar panel to top up our battery and even that little bit has helped us so much.
We can keep our lights on at night, not worry about the water pump and even listen to music on the outdoor speakers during the afternoon as we enjoy the view over the mountains.
All week we babied that solar panel. Carefully wiping down the panel every morning so that each cell could soak up as much energy as possible and moving it every few hours for optimal sun soaking. Hunter, Bryan and I couldn’t get enough.
“Can you believe we are getting electricity from the SUN?!” Hunter says as he plugs in the phone at the back of the panel to charge.
What an incredible world we live in.
Most RVers choose to plug in and live at campgrounds, but I think everyone should dry camp from time to time. If only we all learned to live with LESS our planet would be in a better place.
But back to Sequoia! If you know my family, you know that we are tree nerds. I won’t even try to make that sound cool – but let me tell you – trees are so. SO. cool.
We saw the tallest trees (the California Redwood) already, and now is the time to see the oldest and if you are speaking volume, the largest.
Sequoias do not die from old age, some living over 3,000 years! When they do die, it is from falling over, erosion, infestation or the greatest threat of all – man.
Even these California fires cannot take down these massive giants. They withstand the flames, often burning away layers of bark, but in the end, it is the fire that works alongside the Sequoia to open up their pinecones so that the seeds can be released to create new giants. Amazing.
Sequoias grow to their full potential within about 400 years (approx 300 feet) and after that they put on width. The General Sherman Tree is not only the largest (by volume) in the world – but the largest living organism in the world with a diameter of over 36 feet.
Walking through the old growth forest in Sequoia and Kings Canyon is transcendent to say the least. Even the throngs of people can’t take away the magic that oozes out of these ancient wonders.
We climbed up the 380 stairs to Morro Rock to see the sweeping views of the Sierras. This climb itself is not for the faint of heart. I had a hard time walking up with the kids while the trail winded its way around the cliff with not much protection to be had. For someone who has a fear of heights (heightened by the fact that her three children are with her) it was a doozy.
Nauseating to be exact.
When we reached the top we were greeted by a good handful of panting adults who exclaimed “Wow! I can’t believe she made it all the way up here!” They were of course referring to our miniature Charlie, when Bryan simply replied:
“She has climbed greater mountains than this my friend.”
She most certainly has.
Our latest boondocking spot was high up on a granite cliff 7,000 feet above sea level. We had views of the Sierra mountains as well as countless boulders and trees – plus more animal tracks than we have ever seen. Everyday we heard the cracks of the bighorn sheep fighting, but sadly didn’t get to see it in person.
We shared our spot for a few nights with several other campers, but we had the best view in the house even catching the orionids meteor shower. One of the best nights of our trip so far was sitting around the fire with the kids, head cranked up to the sky shouting out “there’s one! There’s one!”
We were so, so sad to leave our piece of heaven.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon blew us away. If you can only see one National Park, I would argue that this may be the one to see. You have everything here; mountains, lakes, and my personal favourite – TREES!
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