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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Filtering by Tag: trees

William M. Tugman State Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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We pulled into William M. Tugman State Park in Oregon  pretty late in the day.  It was drizzling, and we hunkered down inside our cozy camper to share an Instant Pot meal of beef stroganoff and later, my daughter's first game of cribbage.  The next morning before we left, I spent a half hour with two ravens, who I asked to fly from tree to tree right over this little opening through the branches.  And they did - six times in all.  I have no idea why they humored me, but I was delighted.  I think they are such curious creatures that they enjoy interacting with humans.  It certainly seems to me that they enjoy being photographed.

Kings Canyon National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Though they are administered together and are geographically close, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks have some very different areas.  Kings Canyon is also the home to some giant sequoias (more on that later) but it is more than just that.  We drove the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to its terminus down in the canyon.  It's a windy road that hugs cliff edges and offers superb views of the beautiful South Fork of the Kings River below.

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Near the end of the road, we hiked around Zumwalt Meadow.  It's a pretty green gem, and the trail takes you through rocks and over boardwalks, at times skirting the river.  We were vigilant looking for rattlesnakes, but we are happy to report no sightings.

Our campground was back up the road, walking distance from the Visitor's Center and Grant Grove.  Unlike Sequoia National Park, there are no busses to ferry you around in Kings Canyon.  

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We really enjoyed the paved interpretive trail around Grant's Grove, which includes not only the immense Grant Tree, but also an old cabin, signage about the history of logging in the area, and a giant fallen redwood that you can walk through upright.  I figured that would be my daughter's favorite part of the trail, and I was right.  But I was not expecting to delight in it so much myself.  It just seems so crazy to be walking through a huge tree that's laying on its side.

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You can get a little closer to the trees here on the trail than you could at Sequoia.  Several are hollowed out from fire and this one was just right for a little fox to scramble through.

Capitol Reef National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Capitol Reef State Park was such a refreshing experience after being so hot and dry for the last few weeks.  The Fruita enclave, an historic Mormon settlement along the Freemont River, serves as the central area of the park, featuring a Vistor's Center, campground, nature center, and several orchards.  

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In fact, the orchards are adjacent to the campground, meaning we spent the evening and following morning picking apricots and eating them right off the tree.

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Wyle makes some new friends.

Wyle makes some new friends.

The deer were everywhere, obviously enjoying the fruit as much as we were.

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Another highlight (THE highlight, depending on who you ask), was the little store that sold freshly baked fruit pies.  In the morning we hightailed it the store and everybody bought a pie.  Then we sat at the nearby picnic table and had pie for breakfast!

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And just in case you think Capitol Reef is all about pie, here are some photos of the beautiful landscape.  We very much enjoyed the scenic drive, particularly the off-road portion that winds through the gorge, the walls of which tower above you.

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