After our first full day in SEKI, we returned to Three Rivers and settled into the best hotel option close to the park. Finally, a good night’s sleep. We slept in a little to make up for the night before, and then cleaned up to hit the complimentary breakfast.
Breakfast was swamped, and we once again had to deal with people who either didn’t care or didn’t realize that they weren’t the only human beings on the planet, let alone in the room. Not the start to the day we were hoping for. We encountered more of the same at the gas station en route into the park. After dealing with more rudeness, Jason and I decided we had had enough. We returned to the hotel, took the early check-out fee, grabbed our bags, and got the heck out of there. We called our hotel in San Francisco and were able to get in a night early. We only had a couple things left to see in Sequoia, and first up was Moro Rock.
Just a shuttle ride away from the Giant Forest Museum is Moro Rock, a large granite dome at a 6,725-foot elevation. 400 stone steps take you to the top of this huge rock.
No joke, I was terrified. The stone steps have been built along the edge of the rock, so there’s only a metal railing separating you and a nice little drop 😯
You would think that people in such an environment would be observant and polite. If this is the case, you would be wrong. I don’t know what scared me more – the exposure on the side of a mountain or the stupid people who were everywhere. We managed to make it to the top without major incident.
I didn’t move around a lot up there, and both of us were happy to start our descent. And that’s when things got interesting…
I know enough about hiking etiquette to know that you give the right-away to descending hikers, as gravity is working in their favor. On a related note, the steps are broken up into multiple flights with small landings scattered throughout, making it possible to go up and down a basically single-file staircase. Not that I expected anyone else to adhere to proper hiking etiquette, but I did hope that people would be aware of their own safety and the safety of others.
Jason and I were a quarter of the way down the rock at best, with me following behind him. We were halfway between landings when another hiker rounded onto our flight of steps from the lower landing. And he really didn’t care that we were there. With room for only one person to be comfortably on a step at one time, we were on a collision course.
I watched in horror as the other hiker pushed past Jason, without even feigning to turn sideways. Jason quickly turned sideways himself, gripping onto the railing.
I was scared. I was mad. I was done.
We decided to skip Crescent Meadow, even though it was one of our best chances for spotting a bear. Honestly, we almost skipped seeing the world’s largest tree. The fear of regret stopped me though, and we quickly hit up the General Sherman Tree. If we had visited SEKI and not seen that tree, it would have been ridiculous.
Jason and I tried very hard to not let other people ruin our experience. However, we encountered people who were actually blocking us from having an experience.
Now that we would have more time, we hoped for better in San Francisco…