Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kings Canyon and Book List

Just spent a weekend at Kings Canyon. I drove there after work on Friday and arrived at 8:30 p.m. to discover that there was a forest fire burning in the hills above the canyon. From the campground I looked up and saw an orange glow on the hill side in the distance and after watching for a while saw flames! If you are familiar with the trails in Kings Canyon, the fire was burning around the upper part of the Don Cecil trail. I had hoped to hike on the Don Cecil trail this weekend but obviously no can do!! The smoke from the fire ended up messing up my plans to do two tough hikes this weekend.

Saturday we ended up driving out of the Canyon to the General Grant grove to escape the smoke from the fire and to see the giant Sequoia trees. The trees were very impressive and beautiful but the short 1/2 mile trail was full of tourists from tour buses. It was not exactly a wilderness experience with the trails so crowded with people. We ate our packed lunch at the trees though and enjoyed ourselves. We mostly enjoyed being able to breath deeply and not breath in smoke. After the hike we headed back to the canyon and found a section of the King River that was far from the smoke and spent a couple hours napping, reading, and watching the rapids of the King River from a warm flat rock right next to the river. At 5 we headed back to the campground. It was still smoky. It was a slow burning fire and the smoke will probably last till next weekend according to Deb, the fire expert ranger. I finished off the day by having dinner at the snack bar in the air conditioned snack bar area. I had a BLT, potato chips, and a glass of orange juice. When I returned to the camp ground we sat around the camp fire talking. It seemed odd to be sitting around a camp fire with a big fire burning on the hill in the distance. I hit the hay at 9 p.m.

I got up at 6 a.m. this morning and decided to escape the smoky canyon and drive home. I couldn't see trying to hike in the smoky canyon area and I had seen enough of the stuff that was away from the smoke. So I drove the 4 hour and 45 minute drive home at 7 a.m. I got home just before noon and had marvelous afternoon snoozing and watching the PGA golf championship.

I'm off on vacation soon and this afternoon put together a nice pile of books to bring with me to read. Here is the list:

Killing Orders by Sara Paretsky
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
The Bostonians by Henry James
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
Animythical Tales by Sarah Totton

I doubt I will get them all read in 10 days but I would rather have too many books than too few!!