Sequoia National Park

May 10, 2017
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
More fun during the week:
Point Reyes
10th Anniversary in Springville
Camp Nelson

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