I awoke shortly after 6. It was getting light out, but the light was a dull gray. Our Camping spot was nestled in some mountains, so what I was seeing was the shadows of the mountain. About 7:30, the sun came up over the mountain and the heat kicked in.
Our first location was Sequoia National Park. It’s my first time. I don’t think it will be my last. Our first RV breakfast was delicious–eggs and bacon. Making it proved a little challenging. Everything is so small in an RV. And of course, it isn’t my home kitchen. You don’t know where anything is.
At the Ralph’s in Santa Clarita, as we unloaded the shopping cart, we stuffed everything into locations of convenience rather than thinking through is this really where I want to put the batteries? As result, finding what we needed was like an anti-climactic Easter Egg Hunt.
After the breakfast, it was on to the 3.7 mile hike to Marble Falls. The trail followed a valley up above the river. The entire way you could hear the roar of the river from the canyon below. On the other side of the valley, the mountains went straight up creating breathtaking vistas each time we rounded a bend. As we hiked up–we had an elevation increase of about 2,100 feet, these magnificent rock faces came into view. Stunning really. As amazing as these were, I can only imagine what El Capitan will look like.
It is rare that you ever have nearly 8 miles of hiking entirely to yourself. Evan and I didn’t see a soul going out or coming back until we reached the trailhead and three guys were considering the hike. We told them to go.
The outbound was tough because it was uphill the entire way. It was hot out. We took every shaded spot we could find for rest and every cool breeze. On the return, which we did in about half the time, we reflected how much steeper it seemed going down than going up.
The falls were a treat. It was well worth the heat and uphill climb. And we had them all to ourselves. We sunned on the rocks for about an hour and splashed in the cool water. The water was a little cooler than I would have liked, so no swimming. I did get an irregular sun burn because I was careless with my sun screen application. Our first full day concluded with some star gazing with the park ranger. She was hysterical! I felt like I was in an SNL sketch with this woman. She clearly loves her job as the resident expert on astronomy. She was also very patient with those that asked more astrologically based questions. Although the there was an air of superiority on her part when she did. Then, she told tragic tales of Greek mythology as she pointed out her favorite constellations.
She did take us out to an incredibly dark spot away for the campsites. She asked us to close our eyes for a full minute and then look up. It was amazing. There were so many stars. So many more than I am accustomed to seeing. It’s in those moments that I feel small and yet connected to the universe in a different kind of way.
The it was back to the camp for smores and lights out.