Day Fifteen: Sunday, June 3rd, Sequoia RV Ranch, Three Rivers, CA

Photograph titled, Building Fire with Wood Cut by Idiot, courtesy of site A19 back at Yosemite Pines.

Took the wrong road out of Big Oak Flats this morning. Just out of camp. Somehow we wound up on the steepest, snakiest beast we’ve seen thus far, and that is saying something. It was paved beautifully, probably preserved by the total lack of traffic. We burned some serious brakes, even in 1st gear the whole way.

It was insane.

I believe, if Google is right, we were on Old Priest Grade. We dropped over 15oo’ in under 1.8 miles. Needless to say, said sheep route had many, many turnouts. And in those turnouts? Gallons and gallons of water, to cool the radiators of wayward travelers who find themselves climbing this grade in heat such as today’s.

Who are these people?

After our first detour, we came promptly to our second, as the road the Old Priest dropped us onto was closed for the foreseeable future. Excellent.

In true form, we rerouted, and enjoyed the scenery.

We did not enjoy the heat.

Six hours on the road today, and the mercury just kept rising. By the time we made it to our next accommodations, we were pushing 104.

The hoodie is protecting the right side of my body from certain incineration.

Where is the upside, you ask?

  1. Sequoia RV Ranch has lots of shade in the tent area. Without which we would have found a hotel.
  2. Sequoia RV Ranch is home to not only ice-cold showers, but an ice-cold river. With an incredible swimming hole.
  3. Sequoia RV Ranch homes their front office in what was certainly once a house. With air conditioning. They have a furnished family room. And games.

We made camp at 1pm, and then spent three hours in the office, assembling the beginnings of the world’s hardest jigsaw puzzle. There we were, just outside of Sequoia-Kings Canyon, in the shadow of the the most massive trees on the planet, putting together an indoor puzzle. We weren’t even ashamed.


This monster is a labyrinth. All the pieces are the exact same shape, many have matching edges and could fit together any one of a million ways, but only one of those ways will build a maze that our man can successfully escape from. It is a logic puzzle within a jigsaw puzzle. We were up to the challenge, and made a good start before we were kicked out for the evening, to swim until we could even think starting a fire for dinner.

Chicken that probably could’ve cooked without the fire

Spatchcocked chicken and sweet corn. Mmm…

We survived the day’s heat, but on our sharp gravel pad, I am wondering if our air mattress will do the same. The Intex has made a valiant effort, but in this heat, she blew up more like a balloon than a mattress. Very pliable indeed.

The hope here is not only for an airbed that makes it through to morning, but also for a cooler day tomorrow as we venture up and in. Let’s not talk about the actual forecast.

For the first time this trip, I am hovering dangerously close to truly crabby.

I. Don’t. Do. Heat.

And I don’t give a rip that it’s a dry heat, so don’t even try.

Those ice-cold showers I mentioned? You pay for them–which isn’t so surprising–but ice-cold is their only temperature. This was… unanticipated.

I may die here,

The Whole Enchilada:

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