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Sequoia Adventures Expo offers ideas for fun

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Sequoia Adventures Expo offers ideas for fun

Postby ERIC » Thu May 01, 2008 7:50 am

Sequoia Adventures Expo offers up ideas for fun in our backyard

Choices • April 29, 2008

With gas prices reaching $4 a gallon, families might think twice about packing their kids in the car and hitting the road for that annual family vacation.

But don’t despair. There are plenty of things to do right in Tulare County’s backyard — including the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia/Kings Canyon national parks and Yosemite.

That’s the message of Sequoia Adventures Expo, which will be held from 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, May 9 at the Visalia Convention Center.

Erin Capuchino, marketing and tourism coordinator for the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau, gets calls from as far away from New Zealand but few from local people.

“We take for granted what’s in our backyard,” Capuchino said. “The expo is all about highlighting what families can do just an hour or two away.”

Representatives from the U.S Forest Service will talk about hiking, camping and the back-country adventures awaiting those who want to explore the High Sierra.

Capuchino expects about 100 businesses to have booths, at which you can find out about whitewater adventures on the Kaweah and Kern rivers, boating opportunities at Lake Kaweah, back-country pack station tours via mules, helicopter tours and other options.

While Ron Overacker, president of Blue Sky Aviation, said he can’t land a helicopter at the convention center, he does plan to bring lots of information about aerial tours.

These include flyovers of the Sequoia National Forest, the Paso Robles wine country and the Sequoia National Forest.

“We give a whole new way to see the sights,” Overacker said. “Everyone who gets off one of our flights leaves with a big smile.”

You can check out

Becky Bischoff, owner-operator of Sequoia Sightseeing Tours, typically sees few — if any — people from Visalia or Tulare booking tours. Her company takes customers to popular sites such as Moro Rock, Round Meadow, Tunnel Log and the General Sherman Tree.

About 60 percent of her business comes from visitors from other parts of California, she said. As the American dollar has lost value the last year or so, Bischoff has seen an increase in tourists from Europe.

“With gas prices and the economy, we think people are probably going to be sticking closer to home,” she said. “So we saw this as a good opportunity.”

Check out for tours from the company.

Other tourism-related vendors scheduled to have booths include the Crystal Cave, Wuksachi Lodge, the Horse Corral Pack Station, Paradise Spring Resort, the Historic Seven Sycamores Farm Stay and The Pines Resort.

Besides getting ideas about things to do in and around Tulare County, you can sample locally produced food, wines and beers at the expo. Some of the food-and-drink vendors include Bravo Farms, Brewbakers, Crawdaddy’s and The Depot.

And if you’re really hungry, Visalia restaurant Zhou will offer up a full meal.

Visitors to the Sequoia Adventures Expo also will get a chance to vote for winners of the Sequoia Valley photo contest, which features photographs of various Tulare County spots, all shot by local photographers.

Visalia Newspapers Inc. — the publishers of the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register — is one of the event sponsors.

Originally published April 29, 2008
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