2010 Challenge - 11/24/2010 - Pistachios
2010 Challenge - 11/25/2010 - Giants!

Thanksgiving Road Trip - Day 7

We checked out of our Best Western, Exeter on 11/25/2010. We had read that Exeter had a number of murals in its down town. We had the town to ourselves. Exeter has approximately 28 public murals, with some additional murals located inside businesses. Because of the holiday, most businesses were closed.


This mural located: NW corner of Pine and E Street. Artist Ben Barker, Susanville CA. (1997) The Yokuts Harvest portrays the agrarian lifestyl of local Yokuts Indians collecting sour berries during the spring.


Orange Harvest. Location: SE Corner of Pine and E Street. Artists: Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, Visalia, CA & Morgan McCall, Farmersville, CA. (1996) This mural features a scene of orange pickers in the 1930's. Entire families worked together, while children played. The artist's daughter is included in the mural.


Packing Ladies. Location: 119 S E St just south of "Orange Harvest." Artist: Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, Visalia CA. (1997) This mural features the Exeter Citrus Packing House circa 1950 shows ladies packing and grading oranges.


Poppies & Lupine. Location: 121-1/2 S E St. Artist: Varian Mace, Visalia CA. (1998) This mural features California poppies in the foreground and purple and blue lupine.

We then headed out towards the Sequoia National Park to see some Giants!

En route to the giants...


In order to gain access to the park we had to carry tire chains. This meant turning around and heading back to the tire chain rental place, to hire chains.


You have to leave a $100 deposit, which you get back when you return the chains. The cost of rental was $30. Then you pay $10 to have the tire chains demonstrated. This is all because California doesn't want to be sued if you slide on ice and have an accident. Coming, as we do from Colorado, I found this attitude incomprehensible. I was also extremely annoyed that no one seemed to have heard of snow tires. Crazy Californians!!


On the way up we have nice dry tarmac, and spectacular views. I was muttering the whole way up, due to idiocy of the tire chain rentals.

We even saw a very lethargic looking bobcat. (In fact I thought it was sick.)


Then we get to an area, with a little bit of snow where everyone is putting on their tire chains. Even 4wd'S!! Of course, being freedom loving, law abiding citizens that we are we put on our tire chains. Then we have to continue, with chains on relatively dry tarmac up further.

I was not a happy camper!

We have to continue through road work, and then we start to hit the real stuff - nice compacted ice, snow, in amongst the Giants.

Now ya talking Baby!!

Giants, and more giants...

in an amazing winter wonderland...

and more,


We were running out of time, so we had to say goodbye to these amazing giants and head down the hill. Last shot:

On the way down we took off our tire chains as soon as we could see tarmac. We also stopped occasionally to take in the beautiful vistas.




On our way down not far away from a campsite we came across this bear...

It looked like this bear had been tagged once, and given its proximity to a campsite, I couldn't help but wonder whether this bear's day were numbered? A bear that loses its fear of humans, is a dead bear.

I would have loved to spend more time in the Park. We really didn't have time to drive to the Sherman Tree, or see some of the other spots that are open in winter. Many roads to close for the winter.

We headed back towards home. We ended up at the Best Western Country Park in Tehachapi.

We had been keeping an eye on the weather, and we were concerned about a storm heading for the Rockies on Sunday. We didn't want to get caught trying to come over Vail Pass in a storm. So we opted for pushing home Friday and Saturday, to try and make it home on Saturday, before the storm.