Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Dice and Caves and Bears (Oh, My!)
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One of our plans for Saturday evening went slightly awry, and are we glad it did!

For our weekend gaming (not to be interrupted by a mere camping trip), I had brought along a wargame called Scotland the Brave. Not realizing it did not have its own dice, we were disappointed that we might not be able to play it. So we looked around in the campground store hoping they might carry playing cards and dice. Well, they had lots of souvenier playing cards, but the only dice they sold came in a fancy wooden box, along with a deck of regular cards, for hefty $16.

Shelley thought she recalled another smaller store up the road, so we decided to go look there. Just after turning on to the road to do so, we noticed a car pulled off to the side, with its occupants all observing something down off the road - a quick glance and we saw too: a bear! Finally! (We had just missed seeing a mom and cub on yesterday's hike.) We pulled over too, and my photo of said bear appears below.

It turned out there was no other store, so we went back to the first and dug up one of them wooden boxes with a bear on it, and made that our trip souvenier. And so we got to play our game, see our bear, and have a nice campfire too.

Our first bear sighting!

A yellow-bellied marmot - very cute when begging lunch.

Some kind of fish in cool, clear brook.

Shelley's cool snake.

We lost count of the number of deer we saw. This small one came toward us, then passed by and laid down while watching us.

One of Treebeard's minions at work amongst giants.

We rode our bikes much of today, but also did some short hikes around meadows. It's incredibly exhillarating to me to coast downhill on my bike following the weaving road as it winds by HUGE trees. So quiet. So peaceful.

In the late afternoon, we took a special guided two-hour tour of Crystal Cave, the only publicly open one of 200+ in the park. Very good experience and recommended.

Very cool gate to the cave.

Some of the interesting formations in the cave.

Tommorrow, we visit the adjoining King's Canyon National Park.

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