Easter in Kings Canyon

Wake up call at 4am; check out and depart on a large tour bus at 5am for the three hour drive to Kings Canyon. Stopped for breakfast at a roadside camp – very bare bones. Paid $50 for three plates of eggs, bacon (like ham), two pieces of dry toast and coffee.  Bought the 1.5 liters of water per person we needed for our 6 km hike of  the Rim.  The guide interviewed each of us to see if we were fit for the strenuous hike up “cardiac hill,” the first 500 steps in stone. Yes, she said a woman had a heart attack there just three days ago and had to be taken by helicopter to the nearest hospital, which was a three hour drive away.  We were all surprised both by how strenuous the hike was, as the terrain all rock up and down, stepping wide across crevices and at a very fast pace; the guide was always saying hurry up. When you take photos, you have to stop and snap them fast (no way can you walk and take photos at the same time, as you would trip in an instant).  The scenery was amazing, in the same league with the Grand Canyon. Charlie commented that it was too bad you had to keep looking at your feet and where you were stepping, because the scenery is incredible, and there was no time to stop for more than a few seconds. Then Charlie punctuated his thought, saying, “Oh well!” which made me laugh. Erin and Charlie took turns carrying the backpack with the three water bottles, which we really needed. It was warm and we worked hard and got very thirsty very often. Good news was the load got lighter as the journey progressed. I had my heavy DSLR camera around my neck and in one hand and small Canon in the other hand, and I struggled to balance as we scaled down rocks that offered ledges too narrow to place your foot down in any way but sideways. Our quads got a major workout. At one point we crossed some wooden bridges and descended into the canyon to the Garden of Eden where there is an oasis of cool water. You could swim, if you could get in and out in a matter of three minutes!  We saw many dead trees and opportunistic plants. Snakes inhabit the canyon, but we didn’t see them, only lizards, ants and flies. Charlie and I wore our fly nets, and Erin applied lots of the cream.  The hike was EXHAUSTING, and we all thought we would be very sore later. (By some Easter miracle, we were fine.)

Author braved heat, flies and climbing challenges at Kings Canyon.
Found the "Garden of Eden" and next climbed to the rim.

Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email cathykellyphotography@gmail.com to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: www.cathykellyphotography.com.

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