A letter from Karen Stroh,
Sequoia National Park has been a part of my life since I was born. I grew up where the east fork joins the Kaweah River at the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge. My parents Bill and Denelle Stroh built and owned the Canyon Lodge Motel (now the Sequoia Village Inn). They both worked in Sequoia.
My mother's parents, Darrell and Nell Perce also worked in Sequoia. My mother grew up in Ash Mountain and Lodgepole. My parents met when my mother was working in the personnel department at Ash Mountain and my father was hired. My mother left that job to raise my sister Kathy and I, and to help run the motel.
My father worked in maintenance in all areas of Sequoia. Some of the things he did was maintain the lighting system in Crystal Cave, build and maintain backcountry lookouts and radio repeaters (he logged a lot of hours in the helicopter), entrance stations and the Lodgepole Museum. After he retired he helped the Sequoia Natural History Association with several projects including overseeing the creation of the new Foothills Visitor Center at Ash Mountain. My mother was the business manager of the Sequoia Natural History Association from 1973 until she retired in 1992.
My grandfather Darrell was a heavy equipment operator driving trucks in the summer and snowplows in the winter. My grandmother Nell was a telephone operator in the old Administration Building which topped the hill directly across the highway from the present Ash Mountain Visitors Center. They lived in Ash Mountain and in Grant Grove. As a child I spent time with them in both of these locations.
In the winters my parents took my sister Kathy and I to Lodgepole for night skating on the lighted ice rink. We also spent many weekends downhill skiing at Wolverton with friends from the park, Woodlake, Exeter, Lindsay and Visalia.
I have always enjoyed Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock and the General Sherman is amazing. I feel very privileged to have grown up with them.
I miss having all of this at my doorstep, but I have found a Sequoia giganteum here. It was planted on the hilltop where I live in 1966 as a 9 foot tree. It is now 75 feet tall. There are several other smaller ones on the property. Sequoia National Park will always be near and dear to my heart.
April 10, 2017
Patricia Jacobsma is the SPC Supporter of the Month for February 2017!
This month we would like to honor long time Sequoia Parks Conservancy supporter, Debby Main. Debby has been connected with SPC since before 2008 and has volunteered for the Dark Sky Festival, Fee-Free Entrance Days, and most recently, the first Find Adventure Food Truck Festival in 2016.
Why do you take the time to Volunteer for/donate to Sequoia Parks Conservancy?
I volunteer and donate to the SPC because I believe in its mission...to enable programs that protect, preserve and provide access to SEKI (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks).
Where is your favorite place in either Sequoia or Kings Canyon?
Asking for a favorite place in SEKI, is like asking for a favorite child. Not a fair question. I love the entire park. Each area has its special charm. The Kern, fabulous fishing; Rattlesnake Canyon, amazing trail up a beautiful little gorge; The John Muir Trail, all those passes with amazing views…on and on.
What is your connection to Sequoia Parks Conservancy?
I’m connected to the SPC as a board member, volunteer and member.
Do you have a favorite memory of an adventure in the park you’d like to share?
My favorite memory/adventure is designing, planning for and leading the Mather Mountain Party Trans-Sierra pack trip in 2015, sponsored by the SFI (Sequoia Field Institute) with the cooperation of SEKI. We contracted with Rock Creek Pack Station, Bishop CA, to re-create the famous pack trip led by Stephen Mather in 1915, which resulted in the expansion of Sequoia National park. This was personally one of the most difficult and challenging trips for me for many reasons. It remains memorable in the fact that it was truly a “one of a kind/bucket list” adventure. We were out for 21 amazing days, travelled on horseback and mules, 150 miles in the footsteps of Stephen Mather over every eco-zone and elevation in the park. We had two extremely elite scientists providing spectacularly relevant insight on climate change, and fire ecology. Good food, good companions - it just doesn’t get any better than that, and it didn’t rain!
Sequoia Parks Conservancy, the official 501.c.3 nonprofit partner of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (National Park Service) and Lake Kaweah (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), uses tax-deductible contributions to support these parks.
Sequoia Parks Conservancy