Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Road Trip 2013 Part 2

Atwell Mill Camping and Atwell Hockett Trail

Mineral King Road, Sequoia National Park

We headed out for a shorter trip this year than most, but I ended up with more pictures than usual.  I think that says it all.  Mineral King, although difficult to get to, is truly nature's masterpiece.
We drove up Mineral King Road 10 miles to Atwell Mill Campground.  Along the hundreds of turns along the dirt road, we had somehow managed to get a flat tire.  This is, of course, miles from plumbing, much less road assistance.  Thankfully, we traveled with my sister and her family this year.  The guys were able to drive down the crazy winding road, get the tire fixed, and make it back just after lunch.

Just One of the Many Stumps to Climb at Camp
Oh Yea, Gotta Jump!

Meanwhile, my sister and our kids enjoyed exploring the campground.  Atwell Mill was logged, so there are Giant Sequoia stumps littering the camp sites.  What could be better for a morning of exploration, climbing, and hiking?  The beauty and fun of it all filled our time so much so that we were surprised to find the guys back so quickly.

Saw Deer Everyday at Camp

Saw the Bear One Evening
 (sorry, it was pretty dark)
 We encountered wildlife at camp, a deer visiting every morning, sporting fuzzy velvety antlers. We also had a visit from a large Black bear one evening...thankfully he was more interested in the local vegetation than the visiting campers. The bear did stand up on his hind legs once and I don't want to see it again...
it really gets the heart pumping!

At our first moment, we hiked part of the Atwell Hockett Trail.  It is a long loop (too long for my 5 year old nephew), but we ventured out about 2.5 or 3 miles down the trail through the downed Sequoias.  Along the way we found a few of the giants still standing...some even had tunnels all the way through them...

We also crossed over four cascading streams along our journey. 

Could a hike be any better with a view like that?

The cascading falls went on, pool after pool.  They went on as far as you could see up the mountain and as far as you could see down the mountain.  So beautiful!

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