The morning was so soft and lovely. Cool. Magical light. No wind. We got right up and went for a walk up and down all 4 of the side roads leading to other camping circles. Sherman wanted to go up a couple steep hills to follow a scent. I let him lead the way.
Then back to camp and breakfast. Oatmeal and bananas for me. Sherman turned his nose up at everything. So it’s a fasting day for him unless he lets me know later that he’s hungry.
About 11 we head back to the Trail of 100 Giants. The energy there is so amazing is places. The trees are mysterious creatures from a distant past and I hear them calling.
As we arrive there’s a father and son getting ready to walk the trail. The father wants to pull his car into another spot, so drives out into the road and turns around. While on his way back in the car stops and won’t move. He’s cursing, gunning the engine, the front wheels are spinning and the car’s not moving. Sherman and I walk over to see if we can help. I watch him try to drive again and notice that the back wheels are locked.
I ask if the brakes are on? Or if the emergency brake is on? Something has the back wheels locked. By reving the engine he can drag the back wheels 6 inches. But they don’t turn. We try a number of things that don’t work. I say that I’ll take them about 4 miles where I know there’s a cell signal, or 5-6 miles to a mountain resort where there must be a working phone. Then, an RV drives up and parks. We ask them if they know anything about cars. That it looks like the back wheels — the back brakes are locked. He asks about the emergency brakes. No the driver says. I haven’t used it. Mr. RV asks to see the owner’s manual. All the while the driver and son — they’re from London, son now lives in NY — are asking, “What are we going to do? My son has a plane to catch back to NY tonight from Santa Barbara…” “This is so horrible…” Mr. RV has found the entry for the emergency brake and leans over Mr. Driver who’s gotten back in the car and points to a button with a “P” on it located on the center console below the Gear Shifter. He asks him to start the car, push the button and then try to move it. Mr. Driver does that and the car doesn’t move. Mr. RV asks him to push it again and try. Mr. Driver does and the car moves forward as one would expect. Now Mr. Driver is grateful and can’t imagine how he pushed that button while he was turning the car around. Well, mystery solved. The son says he’s shaking. Mr. Driver is shaking his head. How did that happen…? I say that perhaps they have time to take the walk through the giant trees that they came here for? They’ll feel better… Yes. Yes. Good idea. Mr. Driver moves the car to where he wants to park and they get their gear together.
Sherman and I head off on the trail. We catch up with Mr. & Mrs. RV and talk for awhile about the Sequoia and the dead pines. They are from the east coast where Pine Beetle ravaged their forests about 10 years ago. He asks about places they can stay with the RV? Said a ranger recommended they go south toward the river. I tell him about the places to camp down there. For Fee and for free.
Sherman and I head back around The Fallen Giant loop to sit on a bench in that area and just soak in the forest energy.
This is a special time to be here — before the tourist season and before the campgrounds in this area are open. We stay with the trees for a couple hours and don’t see more that a dozen people walking through.
We head back to our sites in the pass. I pulled through one at the Meadow on the way and am going back there tonight. It’s more private that where we stayed last night. And quieter. Last night we were near a cattle grate that sang every time a car drove over it.
We arrive, level the van and head off for a walk. We make it a couple miles up the road, sit for a break, then walk back. Tomorrow we’ll go further. The sign says there’s another camping area 2+ miles in. We’ll look for that. This area is also far enough from roads and without any stickers. A place where I can walk/hike with Sherman off-leash. He’ll like that.
I eat diner sitting in the golden early evening light. Sherman watches the ground squirrels going in and out of their holes. He takes off after one with such force that he straightens out the small carabiner holding his leash to the van door. I get him back, then get a new carabiner out of the hiking box and set him up again where he returns to watching squirrels.
When we retire to the van he lets me know he’s hungry. Food from the morning is tasty now.
Sundown. Head down.