I am sure I have droned on about one reason I love living where I do...in bout 3 hours, I can be soaking my toes in the ocean, riding a Cable Car, hugging Mickey Mouse or enjoying the cool, fresh mountain air...the latter being my favorite. The area in which we camped recently is on private land adjacent to the Sequoia National Forest and has a trail leading to Grant Grove, which is home to one of the world's largest living trees...the General Grant Tree. President Coolidge named this tree the Nation's Christmas Tree in 1926 and it is also the only living memorial to those who died in war. Just take a look at the fun facts about this tree...seriously amazing!
This entire area is filled with trees that soar overhead and calm the soul.
I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that these trees are so old, majestic and have survived disease, fire and man. These sequoias are fire-adapted and actually thrive with natural fire cycles (lightning fires that naturally as frequently as every 5 - 10 years). Fire opens the cones and releases tiny seeds into the rich ash and mineral soil. Fire also thins other vegetation and trees while opening the canopy overhead to sunlight. Thousands of seeds scatter after fires, but most of them will not germinate. The small number that do sprout will still have a lot to overcome to survive more than 10 tears. It amazes me that the trees that do survive the battle of finding water and sunlight over the years, will drop their lowers limbs to protect themselves from future fires. Throughout this particular Sequoia Grove there are signs pointing out more facts.If you look very closely in the tree below, you can see through to the other side...fire scars.
The fact that firefighters work so hard and risk their lives to save these treasures also amazes me. See the moss covered tree on the right? Well, fire fighters climbed that tree in order to jump across to the Sequoia on the left and fought the fire from above! Seriously!
I can't remember the name of this log, but walking through it certainly makes you feel very small. (There is another one nearby that is so large, you DRIVE through it!)
If you are ever in California and have the desire to see something magnificent and amazing, you must visit this area...you won't be disappointed.
(I know I overused the word - amazing-, but they just are!)