I remember trips to the Giant Forest areas as early as the late 1950's. This post is about two trips one in the 1968 and the other in 1983. I was 18 in 1968 and during the summer after graduating from high school talked one of my friends to go with me on a weekend camping trip to Giant Forest. I borrowed an old truck and with little provisions we took off from Bakersfield. We arrived at the park at night (had to work earlier that day) and had no difficulity finding a camp spot. Since we didn't come very well prepared, slept in sleeping bags on the ground. The animals didn't give us any problems and the night was uneventiful. I'm not sure if I was scared about a bear encounter or not since I have seen bears there before.
The first thing next day was first get some food. I doubt if we brought any food except for cookies or chips. We hiked over the hill and down toward the village. The village cafeteria was open and got all the food we needed. We repeated this every time the hunger pains hit. Hiking and exploring were next priority with the exception of looking for any pretty girls in the area. We were typical teenagers of the day but were not hippies. I remember doing some rock climbing near the camp ground and others were climbing them too. The camp sites seemed clean and everyone we came encountered with were good people. I think we might have drove to crystal cave and took the tour. In those days you didn't have to have a reservation and you could buy a ticket at the cave enterance.
The trip also
included hiking to Morro Rock and the Congress trail. Overall the trip was great and got us away from the hot
weather in Bakersfield. The next trip was in 1983. I took off work for a refresher trip to the mountains. It
wasn't summer yet and there was still snow in the Giant Forest area. The snow wasn't too bad and I could still
hike most places. There wasn't hardly anyone around when I climbed Morro Rock. The rock was partially
covered with clouds and I remember being in fog while climbing the stairs. I took my ham radio walki talki
with me and when I got to the top called out on the radio for someone to talk to. I ended up talking to someone
at Coalinga, Ca. and tried to get a contact with someone in Bakersfield, Ca. I can't remember if I got someone
there or not. Anyway since the weather wasn't the best I didn't run across too many people on this trip. I can't
tell you where I spent the night since someone might object but I can give you a hint. hint: village, truck, cold,
and blah blah I got my food again at the Village cafeteria. Thats my way of cooking for myself and not taking
anything along. Some pioneer I would make.The next day I went to the Sherman tree area and hiked the
Congress trail. I was alone again and the area was nice and peaceful. I hiked around the trees and enjoyed the
refreshing spirit it was bringing to me. I prayed to the Almighty and thanked Him for this. The quick trip to
the mountains gave me a boost to get back to the grind in Bakersfield.