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Alright, so this road trip is less of a redux than the last one, but I think the title still fits. I went with Chi and Pammy again, and this time we flew into Los Angeles to see some of the nearby national parks over memorial day weekend.

We set out early Friday and went straight to the Mojave National Preserve. The Mojave is definitely a much drier climate than the Sonoran desert, but there is still plenty of life to discover. Our first stop was the Kelso dunes, and we happened across a handful of small lizards running across the trail. We also found many more lizard tracks. There were also some unique little beetles, and Chi found plenty of other insects to keep him busy. There was also plant life, though certainly nothing as big as a saguaro. We then hit up the visitor's center for a quick beverage, and then headed off to Hole-in-the-Wall, a short hike through a wall-like cliff. On the way, we also stopped to see a spectacularly large forest of Joshua trees. On the way out of the park, we stopped to see some cinder cones, and also a large salt flat.

That night, we saw the new Terminator movie, which was an improvement over Rise of the Machines, but certainly nowhere near as good as the first two. On the whole, everyone was a little disappointed in it. After spending the night in Barstow, we made our way to Death Valley. It is hot in Death Valley. Very, very hot. We did make numerous photo stops, but it was really too hot for hiking. It was interesting to discover water (and plenty of salt) at the bottom of the valley, though. We then made our way to Ridgecrest, where we spent the night.

The next day, we trekked clear to King's Canyon National Park. Our intent was to see all of that and Sequoia National Park, but the drive there proved to be a bit longer than I anticipated, so our stay in Sequoia was cut a bit short. We did spend plenty of time in King's Canyon, though, seeing numerous beautiful waterfalls, rushing rivers, Hume Lake, and Grant's Grove of giant sequoia. Since we had to drive back through the Sequoia park anyway to get to the hotel, we did at least stop to see General Sherman, the largest known tree in the world by volume (whereas General Grant has the widest trunk). Afterward, I made the long drive back to Tulare. After checking in, we attempted to get food at the local Denny's, but after waiting for our food for over an hour, we gave up and went to Taco Bell. The waitress certainly had an interesting look on her face when we left.

The following morning, we made our way back to the city. Since Chi had never been, we spent most of the morning in Hollywood. We drove up Mulholland Drive and walked out to the vista point that overlooks the city. We then made our way down to Hollywood Boulevard, ate lunch, and then went back to the airport.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 5:22 PM