US road trip part 4: Befriending chipmunks in Sequoia National Park

When we last left you on our US road trip, we were speeding away from the glamour and outlandishly fabulous interior design of the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. This was truly a trip of contrasts and extremes – one night we were in a fifties-themed pastel heaven, the next we were slowly and surely scaling a mountain (in our car, we’re not that adventurous) towards the Sequoia National Park, home of the world’s largest tree, The General Sherman.


I’ll confess something right now – I’ve had a lifelong fantasy about sleeping in a little log cabin in the woods. No phone signal, no WiFi, nothing between us and the great outdoors except a few wooden walls! This did not disappoint. As you can see, the first warning we encountered on our way in was about bears. I was excited to see my first bear but slightly nervous that the encounter wouldn’t end well for me, given that the bathroom was a very dark, very cold full three minute walk from our log cabin.


I have to admit, being without technology was hard! John and I had to find things to talk about other than what someone just said on Twitter, or what just happened on TV, or the latest breaking news. It was really interesting to see how hard a technology detox actually is, even for one night. We ended up reading together, which was lovely and brilliantly old fashioned.

The next morning, we awoke to the most majestic views – the mountainous terrain covered with the world’s largest trees was almost too much to take in.


We took a short trip around the winding mountain path, breaking sharply for crossing deer and even a baby bear crossing the road (yes, I got to see one! Two, in fact) and parked at the General Sherman trail. I saw my first ever chipmunk and he stopped to pose for my camera, which was wonderfully thoughtful of him. We affectionately named him America’s Next Top Chipmunk and carried on down the trail.

Finally we reached the roots of the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world. It was awe-inspiring to say the least. Photos don’t do it justice. Words don’t either. Just go. Once in your lifetime, go and see it. Trust me.


On our next instalment, we leave the wilderness and head for LA… how did we survive Hollywood? Find out next time!

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