Photographs and Memories

June 24 to June 26, 2015
Seville Lake Backpacking Trip
Total trail distance: 13.2 miles

Our family visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) for the first time.  The occasion was our annual backpacking trip. Mason, our future son-in-law, joined us.  Like Yosemite, SEKI is not far from home and offers a myriad of trails to hike.  John Muir once called it “a rival to Yosemite.”  We chose Seville Lake as our destination.

THE PERMIT

We entered the park at the Big Stump entrance then headed to the Grant Grove Visitor Center to get our permit.  The process at SEKI was similar to Yosemite’s. However, where Yosemite was more concerned with what type of bear canister we brought, SEKI was more meticulous in trying to locate us in the event of an emergency.  They wanted an emergency contact, wanted to know our tent color and what type of car we drove.  Another difference was a register located at the trailhead.

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First time signing a trail register.

THE TRAIL

The trailhead was off the beaten path which worked to our advantage as we had the whole area to ourselves.

Mason, packed and ready to go, reading the information board near the trailhead.

Reading the information boards at the trailhead.

The first two miles we hiked in the heat of the afternoon climbing 1,000 feet up the sunny slope.

Chris, on the trail.  The first two miles the trail climbed uphill 1,000 feet.

Chris, on the trail.

The ranger at the visitors center warned us of blow-down on the trail.  She was right, there were several large trees that blocked the way.

Entering the Jenny Lakes area within Sequoia National Park.

Entering the Jennie Lakes Wilderness within Sequoia National Park.

Somewhere within the Jennie Lakes Wilderness the trail leveled and we walked mostly in the shade of red firs.

Once the trail leveled, we walked mostly in the shade.

Chris gives perspective to the trees of the forest.

Some of the forest was burned, but you can see how thick the bark is on the sequoias and why fire doesn't destroy them.

Their thick bark helps the trees to survive forest fire.

Walking through the burned forest.

Walking through the burned forest.

Though we carried a couple of maps, we used the trail signs to point us in the right direction.  At the first junction, Andrew wrote his name in sticks to let us know he would meet us at the next stop.

Andrew

Chris in shadow looking at Andrew in sticks.

The ranger mentioned that the creeks could be dry due to the drought, but we found most of them trickling with water and buzzing with mosquitoes.

Taking a break near a stream.

Taking a break near a stream.

Wildlife seemed scarce.  We saw only two marmots stretched out on boulders near Rowell Meadow.

Julia and Mason wait at a trail junction.

Julia and Mason waited at a trail junction for others to catch up.

After some time we left the Jennie Lakes Wilderness within Sequoia National Park and walked into Kings Canyon National Park.

Here Andrew waits.

Andrew waited at the sign pointing the way to Seville Lake, three miles farther.

I find that sometimes when I don’t know exactly where I’m going, it seems to take forever to get there.  That was the case in walking to Seville Lake, elevation 8,400 feet.  The trail seemed to continue forever.

Seville Lake

Finally made it to Seville Lake.

THE CAMPFIRE

Fire is always a big deal when we are in the wilderness.  Besides providing warmth, if needed it can heat water and cook food.  This time it created much needed smoke to help keep the mosquitoes away; and at night, it was a deterrent for animals which Andrew appreciated since he cowboy camped.  Finally, wherever we are, the campfire provides an entertaining activity.

Chris tries to build a fire with sticks.

After watching several episodes of Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel, Chris tried to build a fire with sticks.

Andrew tried to get an ember going.

Andrew worked hard to get an ember going.

Here both Chris and Andrew work together.  The log actually started to smoke.

Working together the log actually started to smoke.

Mason gets in on the fun.

Mason got in on the fun with a trunk-sized log for the fire.

Chris added a good portion of a tree to the blaze (no trees were actually cut).

Once a captain, always a captain.

Once a fire captain, always the captain of the fire.

FISHING

From the moment we arrived at the lake to the time we packed our bags to leave, Andrew could be found perched on a floating log with his line in the water.

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The tiny trout on the end of his line was released.

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The biggest fish caught.

The biggest fish caught.

WILDFLOWERS

In the afternoon I attempted to walk around the lake but was deterred by Sugarloaf Creek, our water source.  Instead I searched for wildflowers.  These are just a few that I found:

Pacific bleeding hearts.  These grew prolifically near the creeks.

Lungwort. These grew prolifically near the creeks, hence the name streamside bluebells.

Shooting stars.

Shooting stars.

Wild strawberry.

Wild strawberry.

Pussy paws.

Pussy paws.

Snow plant.

Snow plant.

Tiger lily.

Alpine lily.

ROSES, BUDS AND THORNS

While sitting around the campfire on the last day, we talked about some of the things we liked best (roses) about this trip: the exercise we received from the hike; having the lake exclusively to ourselves; being together; and swimming.

Julia swimming in Seville Lake.

Julia swimming in Seville Lake.

Something we would have changed (buds) would have been to have less bothersome mosquitoes biting us and humming in our ears, or none at all.

Unless you are fond of mosquitoes, June is not the time to camp by a lake.  Julia, relaxing in the safety of the mosquito net.

Julia, relaxing in the safety of the mosquito net. Unless you are fond of mosquitoes, June is not the time to camp by a lake.

Some of the things we didn’t like during this trip (thorns) were: the mosquitoes, thinking we were at the lake but still had another mile to walk, and the inability to sleep the first night.

The morning view from our tent.

The morning view from our tent after a sleepless night.

HOMEWARD  BOUND

On the third day we left Seville Lake and the beautiful surrounding granite cliffs.  Our packs were lighter than when we arrived, but we left with stories, photos, and memories that we will keep in our hearts forever.

Happy to have visited this beautiful area, but ready to go home.

Happy to have visited this beautiful area, but ready to go home.

Heading out.

Until next time….happy trails.

11 thoughts on “Photographs and Memories

  1. Dad

    I like the stricter security and the trail register. Loved the photos and the blog. It’s nice to see you making great memories with your kids.
    Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Patti Ross

    What a great getaway adventure producing lasting memories. Glad I could tag along. I do not relish the mosquitoes–but you survived. As always, love the flowers. Sequoia and Kings Canyon are great places to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Janet Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Terri. I was surprised at all the flowers too. There were many more but the photographs didn’t come out well.

      Like

      Reply
    1. Janet Post author

      I wonder if there is a difference between mosquitoes at different elevations. We came home from the lake very bitten but they didn’t itch. I received one or two bites at home at they itched like crazy.

      Like

      Reply

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