Our campground was located pretty much on the border of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We woke slowly and had a leisurely breakfast, then headed out to see Kings Canyon.
As we approached the visitor center, we saw a sign for a church service in the park. We were only 5 minutes late so we ran down to join them in worship. It was pretty neat to be able to join with other believers in worship, right there in the midst of God’s creation.
After a stop at the Visitors Center, where all 4 kids earned their junior ranger badges, and one child spent some of her birthday money on a stuffed animal black bear which she named Sequoia, we headed down to the canyon.
We had a picnic lunch at Grizzly Falls… which technically wasn’t in either park, but was in some sort of protected area in the middle of the two. As we were walking up from the parking lot, my 6 year exclaimed in wonder, “Wow… a real water fall… like for real!” I think it was his first time seeing one. We all enjoyed eating our picnic lunch while watching the water fall and of course climbing on rocks.
If I had to describe our day in Kings Canyon with one word, it would be “fun.” We took a very leisurely hike around a meadow with the canyon towering above us.
The kids greatly enjoyed climbing on rocks (or doing pull ups on them).
We’d stop to climb and jump and find new routes up the rock, then hike some more.
Every time we would spot a large rock, we’d hear, “Hey Dad, can we climb that rock?” And of course once they figure out how to get on top one way, they each scramble to find a more difficult way to get on. They are all quite fascinated by the sport of rock climbing.
Clearly, they get their fascination for this from their father, not their mother (I would sit on a nearby rock and fret).
After climbing and hiking, the kids were quite excited to spend some time playing in the water.
My 10 year old had a complete blast building damns, and then making holes in the them and then tracking the flow rate by using pine needles…. I loved watching her mind work.
Nothing like an afternoon splashing in the river to bring out their smiles.
Be still my Momma heart… one thing Scott and I have remarked on during this trip, is how he is still very much our little boy. Sometimes I think it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day busyness of life and maybe lump the kids all together in a group… this time away together as a family, has reminded us that he is still our little 6 year old. Sure, he isn’t a baby or a toddler anymore. But, he is still very much a little boy. And it has been fun to savor that.
It was in this river bed that we spotted another wildlife to add to our every growing list this vacation.
The evergreen tree that wanted to be a saguaro cactus.
Our 12 year old captioned this photo, “My mom said I could be anything I wanted and I chose a cactus.”
On our drive out of the canyon, we stopped to see another waterfall.
And here is where Scott showed great love to me. He totally wanted to jump off this rock and into the water and he was so ready to do it. Except I begged him not to. And even though he felt it was totally safe and would have had a blast doing it, he lovingly and selflessly kept his feet planted on the rocks.
The drive out of the canyon and back to our campsite was really pretty.
We got back to our campsite before sunset (a rare thing for us on vacations). We actually watched the sunset from our camp site and then roasted hot dogs over the fire for dinner.