Life, in general, doesn’t always work out as you planned. Sometimes it’s partially to fully because of lackluster planning. Other times, despite your best-laid plans, things still don’t turn out as you planned. Such was the case with Sequoia National Forest and our attempt to see the giant redwood trees.

Our entire trip has been far more off-the-cuff than many peoples. Admittedly, neither myself nor Spencer is has the greatest proclivity towards forethought and extreme pre-planning, opting instead for a more spontaneous approach to travel. This has led to many unexpected and exciting surprises, however it can easily be a double-edged sword. We entered the Sequoia area already chewing on the last bits of available sunlight and with little available cell-signal at our disposal, we struggled to find directions to lead us to the Giant Sequoia groves in the area.

Helplessly, we wandered around what seemed the entirety of the National Park ironically unable to find some of the largest trees on the planet. As the sun slipped behind the orange-red mountains of the area so did our chances of finding the aforementioned trees. We were crestfallen and decided to head the the Kern River Brewing Company (KRBC) to drown our sorrows in IPA. Over a few beers we were able to find perspective and even have a laugh as the waitress explained how we must’ve just missed them only 30 minutes back in the direction from which we had come.

Even though we were unable to find the redwoods, there was no shortage of other breath-taking sights in the national park for us to drink in. Kern River was a lush, winding oasis that snaked its way through the park where we stopped and dipped our hand into the ice-cold mountain waters and saw many of the local avian residents that call the area their home. The scrolling scene of the various yellow and brown tones of the hills and grays of the stone mountains that rolled passed us as we drove were, in themselves, enough to justify the journey.

At day’s end, there were no regrets and many fond memories. Travel, for me, is often about the unexpected and you will often find that its not the events and sights you plan for that end up making the greatest memories but sometimes the things that may appear like failures or missed chances upon first glance will be those that you look upon in retrospect and remember the most fondly. Stay open to the universe and what it brings to you, surrender to the road and the way it chooses to wind.