2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sequoia National Park

We entered Sequoia from the south. At the spot this photo was taken, we were still in Three Rivers, CA.
Right off the bat the scenery was terrific.

I'm thinking the snow-capped mountain we could see was Mt. Eisen. Though over 12,000', it isn't the highest peak in the park. That claim to fame goes to Mt. Whitney, which is over 14,000'.

Just 1/4 miles inside the park we saw this beautiful sign and just had to stop for a photo. Seems the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) erected it in 1935 and it was modeled after the face on the old Indian head nickel.

There was also a trail leaving from this turnout. We walked down it a short distance for a view of the river. Along the trail were colorful flowers. These kinda look like Baby Blue Eyes.

I didn't find out the name of these flowers.

We stopped at the Foothills Visitor Center and they had this chart of wildflowers.

Heading on up the road I got to wondering if the stone barrier was a project of the CCC but I forgot to ask at a visitor center.

There's a lot of the stone barrier in the lower park of the park. In the distance you can see Mt Eisen again and also Moro Rock.

The brochure didn't say, but it looks like the road used to go under this rock. Cool!

Another flowering bush I couldn't identify but it looks like the flowers are just past their prime. These are Bush Lupine.

The colorful, flowering bushes/trees in the foothills made the scenery quite lovely.

We stopped at a large turnout on a curve and we looked down to see the road we had just traveled up.

See the car on the road directly under us?

There was a large information panel that told us what we were looking at. Read photo below.

Double click to enlarge.

Moro Rock. The road there was closed but there is a trail up to the top. By coming this early in the spring, we were unable to go to a lot of the park because snow covered the roads and trails.

The road continued to climb and by the time we got to the Giant Forest around 6,000', we were getting into the areas still covered with snow.

It's hard to tell in the photo but the road splits here. The upward half goes between two trees on the right and the downward half goes between two trees on the left.

In front of the Giant Forest Museum at 6,409', is the Sentinal tree. I believe it was around 275' tall.

Course we had to take two photos to get the whole tree photographed.
We learned a lot about Sequoias in the museum.

Time for a walk.

Ahh, this might be a harder walk than I was thinking. At least we didn't have on heels or other shoes unsuitable for walking on snow. Oh well, off we go.
Look at the burned part of this sequoia.

Finally some clear places on the path.
Then it becomes snow-covered again. See the first information panel? The snow is up to the bottom of it. Most of this walk was covered with 2 to 3 feet of snow.

It's amazing that a seed this small can grow something so large! The seeds are about the size and shape of a flake of oatmeal and the pinecones are so small but they contain about 200 seeds each.
Some parts of the outer bark were almost soft and when I tapped on the tree it sounded hollow. Yes the temperature dropped into the low 50's so we had put on extra shirts.

We took a different trail back to the parking lot and we had to cross over this snow-covered bridge. The wood I was supposed to be walking on is about 3' below my feet. There was a narrow, packed snow path across it.
This information panel was very interesting.

This is what the same view looks like today. What a difference!

The information panels all had these decorative pine cones on them.

We continued up the road and just before the parking lot for the General Sherman tree, we saw this coyote. I wondered if he was sick or something since he was hanging around people.

Hey there was even a post office at Sequoia! It was by the Lodgepole Visitor Center. We had passed by the General Sherman tree because there wasn't any place to park.
The Lodgepole Visitor Center was closed so we decided to walk to the nearby campground. Most of it was closed too.
We did see this. Do you know what it is?

It's a bear-proof food storage locker. Bears will tear up your car trying to get in if they smell food or anything they think is food.

Since we visited the day after Easter, bunny rabbits were on everyones mind. I suppose that's why this "snowman" has bunny ears.

Then we went back down to the General Sherman Tree and found a parking spot. A path has been cut through this fallen sequoia.

No this isn't the General Sherman but it's pretty impressive.
The trail passed between these two giants.

Finally the General Sherman. It's the one in the middle of the photo. It's claim to fame as the largest tree in the world comes from the volume of its trunk. A few other tree trunks are bigger around. Some trees are taller But no other tree has more wood in its trunk than the General Sherman.
Of course we had to go to the base of the tree for the traditional photo but the tree is so large you can hardly see me.
Just because the General Sherman is the largest sequoia around, it doesn't meet it is the oldest. It is 1,000 years younger than the oldest know sequoia. It just grew in a prime location. One sequoia grew in a poor location and the base of it was only about the size of a penny after 100 years!

The Sherman Tree's top is dead so it won't get any taller but its volume keep increasing because the truck gets bigger around. Each year the truck grows wider, adding enough wood to equal a good-sized tree. The tree is presently 109' around at the base.

At another spot in the trail, it was possible to get a photo of the whole tree at once.
Going back down the road, we stopped at some of the turnouts in the foothills for photos of these yucca growing along the road.

They were so pretty I couldn't stop at just one photo so I have several.

Of course the colorful, blooming trees on the hillsides don't show up as well in the photos as they did in person but it's still a pretty view.

More Bush Lupine.

I know, I could have picked just one... but they were pretty!
Back down in Three Rivers, we crossed over this old bridge.

Here's a shot upstream. This is the same river that passes by the campground we are staying at. The temperature at Three Rivers was 76°. Twenty-four degrees higher than at Lodgepole.

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