Monday, September 12, 2016

The Butler Adventure 2016 Chapter One

It's been over a month since we started out on our big, kind of last minute (at least when it comes to National Park trips we found out) Butler Adventure 2016. What an adventure it was. I figured I'd better start writing down some of my thoughts before they disappeared or became a distant memory.
insert phone stuff

Day 1
Dallas to San Francisco

We took an early morning flight to San Fran in order to pick up the RV we had rented from this completely adorable couple outside of San Fran. After exploring all of our RV options, we decided to go with a private rental vs something like El Monte or Cruise America. Both of the later like to play the bait and switch game. They offer a reasonable price then double it when you actually want to reserve it. Plus, they upcharge you for anything extra. Like forks. And sheets. And yard chairs. Our RV had it all. It was stocked with everything you could possibly need and more.

After a lengthy orientation to all of the bells and whistles on our home for 17 days, the Leprechaun, we headed to meet and pick up our friends, Sean, Kristin and their adorable baby girl, who all lived outside of San Fran. They were joining us for the first leg of the trip to the Sequoias. We spent the night in their driveway (keepin it classy in San Fran!) and headed out the next morning.

Picking up a few things with these two cuties in tow. 
We arrived in Sequoia National Park mid afternoon and found the weather to be absolutely amazing. 70 degrees and almost no humidity. Heaven. When we got there, we headed to the Visitor Center where they told us of some things we might want to do.

That night we took a short hike to see the second tallest tree in the US - the Grant tree and saw several other ginormous trees along the way. I hiked with Heidi in a kiddo back pack (so fun, but a tough glute workout!). We had a campfire and crashed. All of the fresh air was almost exhausting!

On the park ranger's advice, the next day we headed to King's Canyon, a little traveled (mostly by PCT and JMT thru hikers), a stunning National Park right next to Sequoia NP. This park just isn't on many people's radar...and I'm not sure why that is. The granite slabs are incredible, they surround you everywhere.

There were plenty of rivers for all of us to dip our feet in (ICE COLD) and a few short hikes to just soak it all in.

Funny an attempt to "live a little" (Louis and Ryan's trip motto), Ryan decided to take a plunge into this pool of cold mountain water. Ryan's trip nearly ended here, or likely could've ended with search and rescue. 

Yeah....that head on the left? Ryan. 

Apparently, as he neared the waterfall, his body became hypothermic and he found himself being unable to breath very well. Luckily, he is a strong swimmer and practically forced himself to get back to the boulders where he jumped in. 

That evening I went on a short run near our campground. 3 miles down, 3 miles up. The down was really fun, the up was actually just as much! Apparently running on the trails in the Sierras is kind of frowned upon in some areas. Not because of breaking laws or disrupting the peace, but because of the wildlife. After getting well versed about bears and mountain lions by the park ranger the days before, she told me they see people who run as prey, like they are trying to get away. Oh well, like Louis told me about seventy five times on the trip, you have to live a little.

The payout was worth it. Beautiful views, filtered sunlight through the sequoias and being the only person on the trail was an amazing experience.

I not so secretly wished during the entire run, that I had places like that to run all of the time, despite bears and other things that attack.

I'd have kept going, but since it was getting dark, I headed back and rewarded myself with a smores.

On Sunday, it was time to head out to our next stop, Yosemite. We took Sean, Kristin and Heidi back to Fresno so they could get back to San Fran and moved on a little further north. We soon discovered that when google maps told us it would take a certain amount of time to get somewhere, we should easily add 3-4 hours to that. Throughout the trip, that theme remained the same.  While we wanted to get to the park on Sunday, we arrived to late, so we just relaxed at our campground.

Here are a few more photos from Kings Canyon...

These two...
Our adorable friends, Sean, Kristin and little Heidi.

We just could never get over how clear all the water was here and everywhere we visited!

Stay tuned for Chapter 2! Yosemite National Park. 

1 comment:

  1. I still can't believe you ran in the forest solo!! You're much much braver than I am!! Love all the pics! I need to get back on's been over a year since I've posted anything!