Andrea and I decided to keep our Fourth of July to local travel to save vacation days for our Argentina trip. We downscaled from Hull Mtn (N. Cal) to a trip to Dunlap, CA to fly and visit Cathaven and Sequoia Park.

 

We arrived in the afternoon, touched base with local folks and did a tandem hang gliding flight. It was neat to launch for the first time here with Andrea, see the new views and land in a new place. We didn't get any pictures of this and did not attach the video camera. That night we camped by the pond in the landing zone with the frogs singing us off to sleep. The next day I did a solo flight and here is a pictures of the launch ramp.

As with most ramps by the time you get to the end there is no turning back. I am launching here. My next step will probably be thin air.

I was able to climb up to over 8200' and get a view of the area and the snow covered Sierra Mountains in the distance.

This is on my final approach of the landing. You come in between the trees and land by the pond.

This is from Cathaven which is right near the flight park. A neat place with lots of cats; lions, tigers, panthers, chetas, etc.

We had an interactive experience with this one on the way out. It looked us in the eyes and growled at us and we growled back and forth a few times. It was neat to interact with the protection of a strong fence;)

We spent a day and a half in the Giant Sequoia Park. Back when they were naming trees, they named this one the General Sherman tree. It is a Giant Sequioia. It is the largest tree in the world (by volume). Many of the big trees were named before they stopped naming them.

This is Chad's new favorite tree. It's a Jeffrey Pine. It's in the family of many other Ponderosa Pines with groups of three needles, but the Jeffrey smells like vanilla. Really. Other than the wonderful smell, Jeffrey Pines can be distinguished by their cones with inward pointing barbs. They live only in the medium high altitudes in the West Coast.

Andrea is hugging a medium sized Giant Sequoia.

Chad looking out from the junction of two Sequoias that merged together.

Andrea's luck with seeing bears in the wild was much improved on this trip. This is the first bear we saw. It climbed up and down this tree then proceded to rip apart a few dead trees on the ground looking for bugs to eat.

Thi is the second bear we saw. It was on a hike out to the Muir Grove.

We were directly upwind of this one and it stuck its nose in the air to smell us.

The park was doing a controlled burn. Here the fire was flaring up this large pine tree.

This is a Giant Sequoia that is buring up through its trunk. The cracking and poping sounds were amazing. We spoke to a fire-fighter who was telling us that the giant sequoias can burn for months at a time inside the tree.

Our Suburban with gliders on top barely fit under this tree bridge.

This is a still picture from my GoPro digital camera used for the inflight video. The picture is taken on top of Moro Rock in the park.

This is a 6 minute movie showing launch, landing and a couple scenes in flight.
Note: this was filmed in High Definition. The best way to view it is full screen and at least 720HD. To do this, click play or click the link, then use the menu at the bottom to change to HD (720p is fine) and click on the full screen button. Then depending on your internet connection, pause the video and do something else while it buffers.