Thursday, July 17, 2008

General Sherman Hike 7.17.08

No stop in Kings/Sequoia Canyon would be complete without seeing the world’s largest tree – the General Sherman tree. Ol Gen’l Sherman isn’t the tallest, the oldest, or the widest but is the largest by sheer volume & weight. Here’s his amazing stats:

Height – 275ft
Weight – 11,385 tons!
Circumference @ base – 103ft
Age – 2,200 years
Diameter @ base – 36.5ft!

That’s one huge tree! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around it when it falls. We listened to a Ranger as she explained all the stats & tried putting it into perspective for us – it’s as heavy as 11 gray whales & larger than the statue of liberty. These trees are simply amazing. They’re so tall your neck gets tired from staring straight up for so long!

We took off from there to a hike along several trails in the area. We started on the Congress trail, switched to the Crescent Meadow, to the Huckleberry, to Tharp’s Log, to Log Meadow, & finishing at Crescent Meadow again. It was about 3 hours & we estimate it to be about 4 miles or so. We took it easy & enjoyed the area.

The trees were just monstrous – out of this world big. You look like an ant to these trees.
The wildflowers were georgous – all the same colors as before but seemed to be more vibrant today. The meadows were surrounded by bright green ferns that seemed to go on forever. I was a bit disappointed as we were heading up to the parking lot after walking all of those backwoods without seeing a bear! Or any wildlife really when lo & behold…just 100ft from the parking lot (of course!) a small black bear appeared & rummaged through some downed trees then took off into the meadow. So cool.

We jumped on the shuttle & headed back to Lodgepole center for a quick bite of late lunch & a shower before going back to camp for the evening. Tomorrow we are going to our campground near Lone Pine. We’re looking forward to the new scenery!



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