If the snowcapped mountains, crashing waterfalls, yellow-bellied marmots, and near isolation aren't reward enough for the harrowing 25 mile drive up the Mineral King road's 480+ curves, then the pie at the Silver City Store seals the deal. This store, established in 1930 and located at the 21st mile of the road, contains a small restaurant and the pies are the star of the show.
When we visited, we had our pick of lemon meringue, raspberry, razzle dazzle (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry), pecan, apple strudel, and a gargantuan apple. Choices change daily, and if you come too late you may miss your favorite--I ordered the last slice of apple around 4:30 PM. J went for the raspberry, just out of the oven that afternoon, so it hadn't quite set. Both had flaky, cinnamon-dusted crusts, heaps of fresh fruit, and not too much sugar. The apple could have stayed in the oven a smidge longer, but baking well at nearly 7000 feet is, I'm sure, a challenge.
Connie Pillsbury, the pie maker, waitress, cashier, short order cook, and co-owner of the Silver City Store and Cabins, has held down the fort for over 25 years and her family has owned property in the area for over 70. As we ate our pie, neighbors from nearby cabins popped in to say hello and catch up--Memorial Day is opening weekend for Silver City and the road into the national park. The Mineral King area, once home to a mining craze that went bust, only joined Sequoia National Park in the late 1970s, so many privately owned cabins still remain scattered along the road. During our four days in the park, I fantasized often about buying a cozy cabin of our own, on the condition, of course, that we'd have pocket money leftover for pie.