Less than 24 hours after I arrived home from my 4 month trip, I set off on a 5 day camping trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park with my mom and sister. They had already planned the trip and I happened to book a flight home that landed the day before they left. I was exhausted, but I don’t get to see my mom and sis a lot (I had lived in NY and mom is in LA and sis is in DC), so of course I went. We grew up camping every year as children, but this would be the first time the Lin ladies went camping on their own. Not to separate gender roles, but usually the men set up the tent and start the fires! We almost got into major trouble because my sis and I had both checked the weather in Sequoia and weatherchannel.com had listed it at high of 90, low of 65. Of course, the morning we leave, Mike checks the weather as well and for some reason there was a 20 degree swing and showed high of 70, low of 45! We were literally starting the car! So I ran into the house and threw together 3 sets of winter clothes/long underwear into a bag and put it in the car. Whew! It really was freezing at night and we wore all the winter clothes bundled up in the non-warm sleeping bags we brought.
I’m glad to report though that tent set up was a breeze and I’ve watched Mike start fires so many times that it was pretty easy for me to get it going as well. We only saw one other all-female group so we’re pretty proud of ourselves! We grilled our fancy dinner the first night—kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs) and ribeye steak with zucchini and corn—and made s’mores.
After packing so minimally for the last 4 months, I definitely got on my mom and sister’s case for bringing so much stuff! We could barely fit everything in the car for a 5 day trip!! Even though I had jet lag the first few days, I had a ton of fun and it was nice to spend time with my fam. I was really inspired by all the quotes from John Muir in the Giant Forest Museum and Visitor Centers. The John Muir trail looks amazing—maybe one day Mike and I can do it. It runs for 211 miles along the Sierra Nevada range in California, starting in Yosemite and going until Mount Whitney. It’s a backpacking trek and although you can do it in one week, most guides recommend going longer so you can enjoy layover days and take in the scenery. Any takers?