Another day of superlatives. We spent the day in Sequoia National Park, about 10 miles from our campground. Sequoia is the home of the General Sherman Sequoia, the largest living tree in the world – not the tallest or the oldest, but the largest in terms of mass. While enormous, we kind of gave it a big “meh”, having both been more impressed with the General Grant tree in Kings Canyon, or many of the other giant sequoias we saw today.
Last night’s thunderstorm in our camp was a snowstorm at the 7000’ elevation of our hike in Sequoia NP. After General Sherman, we headed to the Congress Trail, past the House and Senate Groves, then off into the wilderness. We were the only ones around, proven by the silence that enveloped us, and the fact that no other footprints spoiled the new snow on the trail. The knowledge that we were alone on the trail with these giant trees was sobering. We were given to heavy thoughts like
– Will people like us still be wandering around here in awe in 300 years? Will we still be all wearing polar fleece?
– Will these trees even be around then? What’s climate change going to do to these magnificent groves? Will they survive?
– Will there be a National Park Service in the next 100 or 200 years to protect areas like this?
– Will the sequoias that are 2000 years old now make it to 3000 years? What will this all look like then?
It’s crazy the stuff that comes to mind. Makes me want to rush to Alaska and the Galapagos to see everything I can before it’s ruined. Should we all hurry to Africa to see the last of the elephants and the rhinos?
It was a fabulous day. John and I agreed that hiking among these huge trees has been the highlight of our three-month journey. We feel privileged to be able to spend days out here at a small financial cost and to be the beneficiary of the thought and care that so many before us have understood.
We had a crazy dinner of some marinated chicken from a Mexican grocery which we grilled, with a quinoa/spinach salad that my bookstore friend Ann had given me the recipe for, along with guacamole and chips. All cooked outside at sunset in a mostly deserted campsite in a gorgeous surrounding. Nothing that really goes together – just stuff we like. We’re happy just to be here, eating outside in such beautiful surroundings.
The last two hours have been spent reading Townie by Andre Dubus III by the campfire, aided by my LED headlamp. I’ve rotated my chair around to avoid the smoke as best I could, but have finally been forced to retreat inside for the rest of the night.
We’ve got great photos from the day, but I’ve neither the battery power, nor the internet strength to post them right now. And, I’ve got to get back to my book. Maybe tomorrow I can post the photos.
If you can – come visit Sequoia. It’s the most special place on earth I can imagine.