Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sequoia National Park

From Lone Pine, we moved to Visalia to visit Sequoia National Park.   After the quiet of the Eastern Sierra it was a bit of a shock to the senses when we hit all the traffic along Highway 99!
Once you get out of Visalia, it’s a nice drive along Highway 198 through Three Rivers to the park entrance.
Our first stop was Tunnel Rock, at one time the road passed under the rock, you can still see the yellow lines that marked the middle of the road.

We followed the twisting, road as it wound high up into the mountains.   Our first view of sequoias was at the museum, which it turned out, had once been a bar!   From there we followed the road to Crescent Meadow.  
On the way we stopped at The Parker Group, named after a Cavalry Officer who commanded troops protecting the sequoias.   Every summer from 1891 to 1913 mounted troops rode 300 miles from San Francisco Presidio to protect the trees.

I took this photograph looking up into the branches and still didn’t get all the tree in.

This is the base of the same tree.   The bark is very soft to touch and reminded me of very old, soft linen

Further along the road we came to Tunnel Log.  Tunnel Log fell on 4 December 1937, it’s 275 ft long with a base diameter of 21 ft.   The tunnel through the log is 8ft high and 17 ft wide.
Even so I still watched carefully as DB drove through.

As we parked at Crescent Meadow we saw a deer nibbling contentedly on some bushes a few feet away.

And we definitely took notice of this sign before we set out on the short hike to Tharps Log.   I really didn't want to come back and find a bear in the truck!

Our hike took us around Crescent Meadow, described by John Muir as a ‘Gem of the Sierras’.

Tharp was the first non-Indian to live in the forest and made his home in a fallen Sequoia tree.

I thought the window design was particularly ingenious.

This beautiful meadow is just in front of Tharp’s Log.

On our way back we took a short side trip through the forest to visit the Chimney Tree.

It was a kinda weird feeling when I stood inside the tree.

After retrieving our cooler from the bear proof locker we drove over to see the General Sherman Tree.   The tree is over 2,200 years old, is 275 ft high, has a circumference of 103 ft and weighs 1,385 tons.
Apparently if the trunk were filled with water it would contain enough water for 9,844 baths, that’s one bath a day for 27 years!   It’s a beautiful tree.      

Have fun, we are!

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