Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Weekend at Sequoia - Part 2: Our Cabin & The Lake

Grant Grove Village:

We stayed in a tent cabin (no electricity) in Grant Grove Village. The reviews on Yelp were all over the place, people either loved it or hated it, so we had low expectations going in. I liked the tent cabin though. It reminded me of a similar place I stayed in Yosemite as a kid. It was just a small cabin with a tarp roof, two double beds, two chairs, and some towels. Since we were only in the cabin for one night, from about 10 pm to 9 am, that was all we really needed. We brought a lantern (but forgot batteries and had to get them from the market), and an extra blanket. I would've brought one more blanket, because it was pretty cold at night. I think it was in the 40s, and I kept waking up at night freezing, and then I'd check Ezzy and his little hands were so cold. He actually started shivering once before bed, but we bundled him up in a bunch of layers and he slept the best out of all of us that night. All that walking around wore him out. We had two double beds which we pushed together to make one huge bed, but then we wound up all huddling together on one of the beds anyway. It was kind of cramped, but slightly warmer that way.

The other thing Yelp noted was that the service at the Grant Grove restaurant was awful. Unfortunately, this was true. If there was one negative experience from our trip, it was eating at that restaurant. They were so understaffed for dinner on Saturday night, it took us three hours from the time we put our names on the list until we were finished eating and paying. And we had to demand to be seated once we realized they sat everyone before us on the list, skipped over us, and then started seating big parties that got there after us. Ezzy was so well-behaved, even though it was after 8:00 by the time we got our food. Several people commented on how good he was being. He devoured his grilled cheese and fruit, plus a whole lot of snacks while we were waiting. Poor hungry baby.

We stopped by at breakfast time the next day, and they had double the staff of the night before, and a hostess was seating people right away, so we gave them a second chance. That was a mistake. (My mistake, Joe didn't want to eat there again, but I was hungry and thought things would run smoother since they had so many extra employees.) It took about two hours to order, get our food, and eat. All together we spent five hours in that restaurant. That's almost as much time as we spent in our cabin. I guess being the only restaurant in a thirty mile radius means you don't have to care about Yelp reviews, or customer service. It's one of those experiences we'll look back on and laugh at one day...

Lake Hume:

We checked out at 11, and then we wanted to do a relatively easy hike before we headed back home. Lake Hume was about ten miles away, and there's a three mile loop around the lake, so we went there. It was gorgeous. There was a summer camp right on the lake, and it was exactly the kind of camp you see in the movies, with people playing volleyball, and tons of canoes, a swimming pool, kids arriving by the bus load. I never had or wanted the camp experience as a kid, but that actually seemed really fun. 

Joe and Ezzy went wading in the lake. The water was freezing, so I stayed dry and took pictures instead. Ezzy loved it in there though, and seemed immune to the cold. He kept dragging Joe around, finding rocks in the water, splashing, playing in the mud. I think he was in there about 40 minutes before he started shivering. We dried him off and wrapped him up in Joe's shirt to warm up before we continued our hike around the lake. 

Ezzy was exhausted by the time we got back to our car, and he fell asleep about five minutes into our drive. We decided to just head home, because we wanted his nap to coincide with the drive as much as possible. 

We used Joe's phone for navigation to get there, but we couldn't use it on the way home because there was no signal. That means we had to go the old fashioned route and use a real map. I navigated, and had us take the 245 home. I'm not sure if you'll ever be in that area, but I would avoid that road at all costs. It is soooo windy, and you'll drive forever without any signs of civilization. We came across one town in an hour. It was called Badger, and just for fun we wikipedia'ed it: It has a population of 140, high school students have to take a bus 23 miles away to get to school. The closest grocery store is almost 40 miles away. And their claim to fame is that they were featured in a 1970s McDonalds commercial where the entire town was served lunch for $13. Yes, this is how we kill time on a 4 hour road trip (once the cell phone reception came back). Other highlights of the road trip included seeing a wild turkey cross the street right in front of us, then scale a small cliff right next to our car. Joe braked so we could watch. I had no idea turkeys were such nimble little ninjas. They always seemed gawky and awkward... We also joked that we found the longest possible route you could drive in California without seeing a single Starbucks. We actually passed at least a dozen Subways before we found a single Starbucks, which we found kinda odd.

So that was our trip in a nutshell. I know I posted a ton of pictures, but just know that I did edit it down from the 600 total photos we took. It's so beautiful up there, you can't help but try to capture it all on film, although the pictures will never come close to how beautiful it actually is. Especially the canyon. A picture doesn't give you the same feeling of tiny-ness that you get when you're on top of the world staring down and down at the deepest canyon in the U.S. 

This weekend was even better than I imagined it would be. Ezzy was not only well-behaved (almost) the entire trip, but he loved exploring in nature. He was in his element, spending all day outside, traipsing around in the dirt and picking stuff off the ground to examine. That made Joe and I so happy. We really want him to grow up loving the outdoors like we do. Also, this crosses camping off my Summer bucket list. (Not to mention lots of hiking - we did 36,000 steps over the weekend according to Joe's pedometer app.)


  1. It looked beautiful. The restaurant sounded awful but the food in the pictures looked good! i love that you mentioned you steps because I was just thinking I bet you guys got in a lot of steps! I just started wearing a fitbit to track steps in competition for work and I bet you guys did more than 36,000 for the weekend! I do 10,000-13,000 steps a day and I don't even feel like I walk that much. Looks like you guys did a ton of walking!

    1. Wow, 10,000 - 13,000 steps is a lot! I wore a pedometer while I was pregnant and I had to really try to take extra steps to get up to 10,000. It's hard with a desk job. How do you like the fitbit? I always wonder how accurate the app is, since it's just on Joe's iphone in his pocket for the most part. I think we would have done more steps, except for the fact that we had a 4+ hour drive each day, so there was a lot of sitting in addition to walking.