Sunday, July 4, 2021

~ Remembering the 4th of July ~

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir.

Our backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park was difficult. The last part of the trail would require scrambling over granite rocks -- the map described it as a "cross-country route." 

We hiked a total of 17 miles over four days. Having never been there before, it concerned me. 

Lodgepole to Moose Lake, Sequoia National Park.

My younger brother, Wilfred could care less. He thought it was pure fun. After all, he was just 10 years old and this was his first wilderness experience. He came to spend a summer with me at Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park where I worked on a garbage truck during my summer break from San Jose State. It was the best job I ever had. The post is called, Then and Now.

I convinced our mom back in Barstow that he would be fine, though she really didn't know how perilous the backcountry could be. She was the best mom, allowing us to fulfill our dreams providing we were always "careful." And now, she entrusted his safety to me. I was concerned. Her words echoed in my mind with each step on our maiden backpack trip.

At 10 years old, he boarded a Greyhound Bus in Barstow, CA, and headed for Visalia, CA some 200 miles away where I picked him up. Later, he told me that he did not get off the bus until the driver shouted: "Visalia." 

Think about that, at just 10 years old. 

It was July 4, 1970, when we began our backpacking trip from Lodgepole via Pear Lake to Moose Lake.

Honestly, I do not remember the trip. It was only after looking at some lost photos that the memories became focused.  

A few days ago, I asked Wilfred if he remembered the trip, he immediately replied: "Yes. I remember hiking up granite rocks that followed a stream. We caught and ate fish. You gave me a can of tomato juice to drink along the trail. We camped for many days."

Here are some of those long-lost pictures from our backpacking trip in July 1970 from Lodgepole to Moose Lake and a bit further in Sequoia National Park.

Moose Lake sits at 10,565'. The last 2 miles from Pear Lake to Moose Lake were cross-country.

Moose Lake was surreal. We were on top of the world.

While the temperature was 80 degrees, the water was ice cold.

Writing a "love letter" to the girl constantly on my mind who I met at San Jose State - Denise Saldivar.
The first few words...."I miss you and my days without you are miserable..."
We got married on June 14, 1971, after my college graduation. 
We celebrated our 50th anniversary a few weeks ago.

Wilfred swimming at a mountain lake along the way.

Robert and Wilfred Griego in our younger days.

Our camp.  Getting fishing gear ready for the morning.

Wilfred catching trout for dinner.

Seven trout made a delicious dinner.

Moments after reaching home at Lodgepole, CA in Sequoia National Park.
Check out my ultra-light cotton sleeping bag. My smile says it all.

~ Remembering the 4th of July  ~


  1. What wonderful memories of a wonderful trip with your brother! Hope you and Denise are having a peaceful 4th of July🇺🇸! Cheers, Lill

  2. Thanks, Lill. Always a treat hearing from a Botswana buddy. Denise says hello!

  3. Wonderful to see enduring love for both Denise and the Sierra Nevada Mountains!