day 188
sequoia national park

"I think I'm not going to make eye contact with you for the rest of the day. Just to bother you." -k.
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Giants Among Men:
Name: General Sherman
Estimated Age: 2500 yrs
Weight of Trunk: 1385 tons
Height: 274.9 ft
Circumference: 102.6 ft
Diameter: 38.5 ft
Height of First Branch: 130 ft

Largest Living Thing: The General Sherman Tree stands as the ultimate example of the growth potential of a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Other types of trees are taller, or thicker at the base, but no other living thing on this planet exceeds the volume of this giant sequoia.

The General Sherman Tree owes its immense size not to great age (many other sequois are older) but rather to its very rapid growth rate. For over two thousand years this tree has survived numerous fires, climatic change and even the coming of modern man. Today it remains not only the world's largest living thing, but also one of the fastest growing.

Snow Bank of the Day
Setting Up Camp:
This is the part of our trip that you usually don't see. We do this every day, rain or shine. Snow or sleet.

Best Setup: 5 min
Worst Setup: 22 min
(Kev set up alone in the rain)

Best Takedown: 12 min
Worst Takedown: 35 min

In the vicinity...

This isn't a photo of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the Conterminous United States. Mount Whitney is behind and to the left of this mountain. We couldn't get closer because up here at 5,000 feet they've closed the roads for the winter.

We could have hiked it, but it's about 77 miles in 6 foot snow. We opted for this photo instead.

Have You Hugged A Tree Today?
March 2 - As usual, nothing goes as planned. We ended up delaying our trip in order to meet up with some New Yorkers in San Francisco (how metropolitan of us!). What did we do with these three days? We headed inland, of course!

A solid four hours later, we were wandering in that precious area between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada. Why is this so special? This exact elevation and this exact spot is the only place in the world where the Giant Sequoias grow.

What a thrill to stand among the world's largest living trees. You cannot possibly imagine how massive they are, both compared to the other trees in the area, and to your own puny self. I now know what it must feel like to be an ant in among the blades of grass.

There's a lot to learn from these magestic creatures. In the fifties, all in the name of the growing tourism industry, trees were hollowed out so that you could drive right through them. People made their homes in the fallen trees and tourists were allowed to drive right onto them for the very desirable photo opportunity.

Times have changed now, but we're still learning. After recent efforts to protect the trees from fire, the rangers now realize that without fire, the trees can't reproduce. They've stopped all building projects in and around the trees and repaired much of the damage done by the original capitalistic entrepeneurs.

This is the General Pershing Tree. Why should we find this so interesting?
Now, they're making money in a less harmful, yet just as silly way. Seed souveniers. In the Sequoia National Park gift shop, you can buy Giant Sequoia seeds - grow your own at home!

Now, I don't know if I'm missing something here, but unless I lived right next to the forest, my chances of growing my own Sequoia are pretty slim. I'd be better off planting some beans and hoping to climb the beanstock in the morning.

Never mind that they take 2,000 years to grow.

a billion toothpicks...

more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Sequoia National Park

Next Stop: Yosemite N.P.

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Snow Covered

Daily Stats

The Pleasure Pass...
Savings Today:$10.00
Total Savings:$179.00
We'll go out of our way to get to a park where we can use our pass! We're addicted to the National Parks Pass!

Sleeping Quarters
Sunrise Campground Yosemite N.P.

Site near the big rock. Whoa! Look out for the bears! They'll pick your lock and drive away with your car. After they strip it, they'll be back for you and your food!

Cost: $10.00

Sequoia National Park
K's Order:Baked Apple Oatmeal
A's Order:Coffee
Strip Mall Mexican
Generic Town
K's Order:Chicken Enchilada Plate
A's Order:Chili Relleno Place
Yosemite Lodge
Yosemite N.P.
K's Order:Cinnamon Apple Ripple
A's Order:Hot Buttered Rum, Chips & Salsa

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Smarter than the average bear.