Big Trees

I’ve been wanting to go to Calaveras Big Trees State Park since I moved here. It is about two hours southeast of Sacramento on the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains. My boss had the flu last week, so I knew we wouldn’t be working on Saturday, and I decided to take advantage of a guaranteed day off. I got there around 10 am Saturday morning and I was delighted by how much snow there still was. Big Trees is home to several sequoia groves, and the red of their bark is straight up gorgeous against the snow. I had hoped to do the five mile loop in the South Grove and the two mile loop in the North Grove. When I was reading about the park, I missed that the road to the South Grove is closed in winter, so I could only explore the shorter North Loop. I only saw two other people the entire time I was walking, so that was pretty fantastic.

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The trail was easy to follow, but after an hour of slogging through the snow in my hiking boots, I was glad that the five mile trail was not an option. I had expected a little snow, but not that much since it had been in the 50s for most of the week. I still have so much to learn about winter.

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Since the loop was only a couple of miles and the rest of the park was closed, I was done before noon. I decided to get some lunch in Arnold, then explore a trail that is in the area. I stopped at Giant Burger for a “Baby Burger” and sweet potato fries. It tasted almost exactly like the burgers at the drive-in in my hometown, so that was a super pleasant surprise. A+ for that burger and the fries.

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I had been looking at the Arnold Rim Trail for a few weeks and I wanted to hike to the “Top of the World” viewpoint. Unfortunately, I had bad service and conflicting information, so I never made it. I spent an hour trying to find a trailhead and eventually got started in the Meadowmont neighborhood which was nowhere near the beginning of the trail system. I started my climb up what looked like a fire road. I was quite worried I was on private property and on my way to getting shot for trespassing.

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There weren’t really any signs for about a mile and since my phone wasn’t working well, I just kept walking and hoping for the best. I eventually found a sign which didn’t do much to help my state of uncertainty.

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Horses not allowed WHERE?? I was looking for “Top of the World” or “Manuel Peak.” Since neither was listed, I headed to the San Antonio falls overlook. It was pretty, but I couldn’t see any falls.

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I got a little bit of service at the overlook, so I tried to figure out where I was in comparison to where I wanted to be. Google Maps and AllTrails had conflicting information.

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The spot for the “Top of the World” point was in opposite directions between the two maps. I was getting pretty grumpy after spending so long looking for a way to get on the trail, then feeling lost, that I just hiked back to my car and went home. I’ll try again another time. It was a nice trail through the forest and I didn’t see another person the whole time I was there. I made it a total of six miles for the day which is better than nothing.

On Sunday, I ran errands and finally got to see Call Me By Your Name. I feel like I’ve been waiting a year to see this dang movie! It met all of my expectations and was just as beautiful as I had hoped. I have to say, when Armie Hammer wears short shorts there is an obscene amount of thigh on display. He is a bug ol’ hulk of a man.

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