Feeling small in a giant forest

Sequoia National Park was established as the second National Park in 1890, but it was the first park formed to protect the giant sequoia trees from logging.As we drove north and east from Los Angeles we passed some of California’s farms, orchards and vineyards. Roadside stands of oranges and grapes were abundant and the sweet scent of the fruit was wonderful.The foothills of Sequoia National Park are approximately 2,000 feet in altitude. We looked up at snow capped mountains while enjoying temperatures in the mid-70s and plenty of beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees. The rushing river was a sign that the spring melt had begun. A long and winding road brought us up to the Giant Forest at 7,000 feet. Spring dissolved into winter with temperatures in the low 30s and five-plus feet of packed snow. The giant sequoias dwarfed everything including the snowpacks. Many of the hikes we were interested in were closed, including the famous tunnel tree and Moro Rock. We were able to slip and slide around the giant tree loop and Congress trail. This led us to the largest living thing on the planet earth…General Sherman. This amazing sequoia is the world’s largest tree, measured by volume. It stands 275 feet tall, and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base. This is equivalent to a 26-story building, and the width of it’s base is about the same as a city street. Giant Sequoia grow very quickly and they have a life expectancy of 2,700 years. This forest of sequoias are mixed in with other large trees which make you feel like you have been shrunken and adds an extra appreciation to the size of these giant trees.We stopped and took in several scenic overlooks and hiked around Hospital Rock where we saw petroglyphs and remains of a Native American communal kitchen. Feeling tiny is a good thing above and below the clouds among the giants in Sequoia National Park.

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