Rhapsody Ranch and Kings Canyon
With one of our main destinations during this first leg of the Mutiny's Adventure being Death Valley, we scoped out the best way to drive there by RV. Naturally we wanted to take advantage of "places to see" along the way which led us to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
One thing we've learned quickly is that driving in the mountains not only uses a lot of gas, it also wreaks havoc on your nerves (and can lead to my very unwelcome 'helpful driving tips' like "Holy shit, we're gonna DIE!!"). So, after reading about the roads in Sequoia and delays due to road work and limits on how long one's rig can be (22 feet was the maximum...we are about 40 feet long when towing the jeep) we opted to try to stay outside of the park and just commute by Jeep.
After much research, I stumbled across a website for Rhapsody Ranch in Squaw Valley which was situated close to the Kings Canyon side of the park. It was at a much lower elevation and the roads were much easier on my nerves. Our hosts (and ranch owners) Gary and LiAne Schmidt were beyond gracious and even provided us with a heavy duty electrical connector and fresh water hose. They also invited us to use their personal washer and dryer if we needed it!
We had spectacular views from both sides of the ranch and were greeted by dogs, cats, goats, chickens and horses. The Sierra Mountains (including Mt. Whitney) were out one side of the RV and the twinkling lights of Fresno were out of the other side. And in the morning we were greeted by the horses and a tarantula!
A short drive and we were in Kings Canyon checking out the massive Sequoias like the General Grant Tree. It's not only hard to describe these trees but it's near impossible to take a picture of them too. They are way too big and tall to fit into my view finder. However, maybe these pics will give you an idea:
|Scenes from Rhapsody Ranch.|
|Fresno starting to light up (from Rhapsody Ranch)|
|The view out towards Sequoia National Park (from Rhapsody Ranch).|
|The moon over the Mutiny at Rhapsody Ranch|
|Some "small" young trees in the parking area.|
|This is a tree that fell over many years ago. In the mid-1800's it was used as a temporary shelter while a cabin was being built and later the U.S. Cavalry used it to stable their horses.|
We both loved seeing the Sequoias and wished we had more time to spend exploring (weather had us on the go). If you're ever in the area stop by Rhapsody Ranch, they have a small guest cabin for overnight stays fro just $40 a night. They are very nice and generous hosts. Tell them Lynn and Clark sent you...we won't get anything out of it but we'd love them to know how much we appreciated their hospitality.