We’d decided to test the theory recently (well, several months ago), opting for an early morning walk in the woods. These were not your run-of-the-mill woods, those aesthetically pleasing, small islands of trees in the midst of the concrete jungle we call civilization.
No, these woods in the Sierra Nevada (all 461,901 acres) dotted the rocky terrain, offering more than just a passing glimpse into the connection between heaven and Earth. Who knew that connection would include the afterlife, a very annoying ghost hell-bent on taking our spiritual experience to the next level?
The holy ghost preyed on us with the fervor of a religious zealot, which I suppose is understandable, after the fact, given these kamikazes of the insect world swarm in mass in order to lure females to join in the meet and greet, all before it’s lights out. With a lifespan of just days, these guys were obviously hot to trot. As humans, we were simply the biological equivalent of a singles bar, with the guys hanging out hoping to get lucky.
Lucky wasn’t exactly the word that came to mind that September morn as the universe saw fit to raise our spiritual experience to a whole new level. We obliged the gods, running up and down the aisles of this magnificent cathedral with abandon, gnaturally waving our arms and raising our voices with the wonder of it all.
The Bottom Line on Kings Canyon’s Zumwalt Meadow
Verdict: I still say, don’t sweat the small stuff, especially given the beauty of Kings Canyon. Granted, I did break out in a sweat from all the running with abandon during my spiritual experience. Serious hikers know not to leave the bug spray in the car.
Insider Tips: Don’t forget the bug spray. Fashionistas always pack a Gnat Hat. I have since learned vanilla extract (only the pure stuff) or a dryer sheet will deter the pesky buggers. Before heading into the woods, dab the extract on like perfume, only don’t hold back, then take a swig for good measure. You can’t do that with bug spray. Follow the extract with a few dryer sheets taped to the brim of your hat and commune with confidence. You can even try walking with your hands over your head, but really, I draw the line with such silliness despite the fact the buggers tend to gravitate to the tallest point on your body. Also, there are no gas stations inside Kings Canyon, so be sure to fill up in Fresno.
Nearby Food: The Visitor Center at Grant Grove, an hour's drive away, has a gift shop, small grocery store, and restaurant.