|On day 5 of our May 2017 vacation we visited my old
stomping grounds, Sequoia National Park. I worked
here as a Park Ranger in 1999 and 2000.
|A Hawk soars above the Middle Fork Kaweah River with
Moro Rock and Alta Peak in the background
|Of all the things in Giant Forest that we saw, T loved this lady
bug the best. I thought it was very fitting. My campfire
program that I did in the park was "The World of Small" - in a
park that's known for its superlatives, I talked about the tiny
things and how they're important, too.
T wanted to take the lady bug with him, but eventually I
convinced him to leave it in its home. A short video:
|Playing "Sequoia Roulette" in Giant Forest Museum
|I have not visited the park since they put in the new
General Sherman Tree parking lot - now you start far away
from the tree and walk down a steep hill towards it. This is
the first glimpse of the tree you get - its craggy top.
|Slowly you see more and more of the tree reveal itself -
it's so much more massive than the surrounding sugar pines
and red fir, which themselves are large, the largest species
of pine and fir in the world
|Once we reached the tree we then set out for the
"secret ranger picnic table" located nearby but
just out of sight. I was happy to see it still there.
I ate many lunches here and so I was happy to
share yet another with my family
|This is a large branch that fell off the General
Sherman tree a few years ago, because of its
massive size the park just rerouted the sidewalk
around it lol
|This is the "footprint" of the General Sherman
Tree as illustrated with pavers - it's wider than 3
lanes of traffic
|We drove through the Tunnel Log and then hiked from
Crescent Meadow to the Telescope Tree then to Tharp's Log.
Hale Tharp was a cattleman who built his cabin into the end of
a hollow sequoia tree. John Muir visited Hale in 1875.
|We found a bit of snow and a cute little fir tree
|Another "hidden" secret that I knew as a ranger - Native
American mortar holes just a little ways off trail
|And no visit to Sequoia is complete without a bear sighting! I had
countless encounters with bears when I worked here
|And just before we left the park, a climb up Moro Rock -
not for those afraid of heights, and if you do take a
young child please go carefully!
|My favorite part of the rock - this extrusion is about halfway up
and is where I used to take a break and take off my flat hat to
cool off - it hung on this natural rock "hook" perfectly! I used to
climb the rock at least once/week
|On a huge granite dome, and again, he likes the tiny things
|It is an extraordinary year for dogwoods - I've never seen so
many in bloom all at once
|T gets his junior ranger badge - at the same place I had my
real one :) Click here for the video:
|A short video of T at the General Sherman Tree