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Sequoia National Park

8:44 PM

We have been visiting Jason's Mom in California this week and were fortunate enough to be able to take a little day trip up to the Sequoia National Park. The park is home to 5 of the 10 largest trees in the world! Jason planned the whole outing and had quite the list of places he wanted to see while we were there. I was skeptical that we would be able to cover all of the stops on his list in one day but we actually were able to see quite a few of them.
Our First stop was Hospital Rock. Hospital Rock was home to the Potwisha Native Americans, and was named by Hale Tharp after a couple of explorers spent time there with the natives healing from various injuries. The rock has pictographs from the Potwisha as well as a near by bedrock mortar site in the rock where the women of the tribe would gather together to grind acorns into flour.

Next we headed up to The Giant Forest Museum where we were able to learn about the giant redwoods which we were about to see. Since this was the first national park we have stopped at on our adventures we took the opportunity to purchase the girls each a national park passport book so they can track our park visits. We also got our first Jr. Ranger books which allow the girls to work towards a badge at each park we visit. The program is pretty cool, it is set up by age group and each park has its own requirements for the children to complete on their visit. Once the girls complete their work they bring the books back to a park volunteer. The park volunteer then checks their work and swears them in as jr. rangers. They are then awarded a Jr. Ranger badge.
F was quite proud of her badge and has been wearing it ever since. I look forward to doing more of these as we travel to the different parks during our journey!
After the museum it was time to head out on the trails to go hiking, and the first stop was to see The General Sherman, the worlds largest tree by volume. It was quite impressive.
Me and the girls walking around the foot print of the tree, The base of the tree with a full grown adult standing by it, a whole tree shot of The General Sherman 
The trail we chose to hike was called Congress trail which is an easy 2.2 mile hike that meanders through these amazing beauties, including some very impressive clusters of redwoods called The House and The Senate.
The House Cluster, Looking up at the House, the root system of a fallen giant


One thing that was very interesting about these massive trees is that there is not one that has not been scarred by fire. I guess you don't live thousands of years without a few fires! The giant redwoods have adapted to survive wild fire. The bark of the redwood grow can grow up to three feet thick. Above the girls are standing in the bunt out hollow at the base of a giant redwood.
The next hike we took was the Crescent Meadow Trail, about 1.6 miles. Here we were surprised to find a bit of snow still in the meadow, as the weather has been rather mild. The girls were very excited to see their first snow of the year. On this hike we encountered Chimney Tree, a burnt out tree that you can sit in with a beautiful view through its chimney, and Tharp's Log. Tharp's Log is the one time residence of Hale Tharp, the first non-native to explore the area. Tharp was a cattle man and "discovered" the area with the help of native guides. He drove the cattle there each summer and turned the log into his summer home.

Our Last hike of the day was a short, but steep one.

That's right we had to check out the very top of that giant rock, Moro Rock. It is a short 797 ft long climb up 400 steps to the summit with an elevation of 6725 ft!
It was quite an intense climb, I had a death grip on the girls the whole way up! The photo of us above was about half way up the climb and it makes my heart skip a beat to see little R so close to that edge!!
The views were breathtaking though, well worth the climb!
The valley below Moro Rock

The High Sierras, view from Moro Rock

After we made it back down safely we had to rush to get back to the museum for the girls to turn in their workbooks to the rangers so that they could earn their badges before the museum closed. We made it with 30 minutes to spare! As we walked back to our car we had time to stop at one more overlook, Beetle Rock to take in one last amazing view before heading back down to the valley. We were all exhausted by the time we returned home, but what an amazing day!

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2 comments

  1. Beautiful! What an amazing adventure. I remember being in awe of the redwoods when I first saw them when I was in college.

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