July 29, 2011 in Minimalist Summer Vacation 2011
Well, we found the worst campsite yet. Arriving in pitch black again we managed to find a registration station only to have them be clueless and unhelpful. Maybe I shouldn’t say unhelpful, but clueless combined with willingness still doesn’t help much. Azalea campground has 110 camping sites, most of which were filled, and only 4 tiny restrooms. Not only that, but the campsites were often ridiculously close together. We looked at a few, but we would have had to set up our tent within feet of another tent so we finally settled on a larger one, far from any bathrooms, and right next to a large noisy group. The kids and I can sleep through most anything, but Bryon was kept up by taking and then loud snoring… and woke up grumpy.
We headed off to find hiking as early as we could get going, but still didn’t end up getting started until almost 11. We started to hike up toward Granite Pass. It ended up being a great climb straight up like we wanted, but was almost all exposed and the sun was getting hot. Ian had all kinds of trouble walking. Not sure what his problem was, but he basically refused to walk at all from the beginning. We carried him for a while, but then Bryon decided to take him back down for a nap and Lily and I continued up. We were able to climb for a while, but then the heat got to much and we turned back down as well. We are really wanting to hike down into the Grand Canyon in 3 days which is even more elevation change and heat….
I was really affected by the heat and I noticed it as the afternoon went on. We explored the Roaring River Falls and hung out in the air conditioned visitors center with lots of cold water, but it wasn’t until lots of salt, sugar, and Grizzly Falls that I felt better. Grizzly Falls was awesome! At least 60’ tall, but shallow at the bottom. Everyone got their feet in and cooled off. I waded over to the base of the falls which was only about 3 feet at the base and got soaked from the spray. It was awesome! It made the whole day… (which, with grumpy, bad camping, and heat, was turning bad) oh so much better.
On the way back we filled up at America’s oldest double gravity pump (1928) in Kings Canyon. Probably the most expensive gas in America too, but we needed it.
Headed back to camp to go to bed early. Sooooo tired.
The kids found 3 of these huge pineones just at the start of our canyon hike. So fun! Pinecones ‘as big as your head’.
The kids standing infront of Grizzly Falls. Right after that the climbed down and put their feet in the water.
I waded over to the falls here and it only got up to my knees but the spray completly soaked me. It was so fun! If only we had dressed properly before we left camp. We are camped at 6500 feet and I thought it would be much colder,… boy was that wrong.
We got 8 1/2 gallons of gas and it cost almost $50.