In LA for a week, working. Staying in Santa Monica at the Viceroy, which is a block from the beach. Normally, most would walk that block to spend their day off at the beach.
Not me. Instead: Up at 4am. Drove for three and a half hours through California’s farmlands up into the Sierra Nevada mountains and to the sacred lands of our national park system.
“WHY?”….I answer with ‘why not!?’ I live to spend my time surrounded by life, mystery and natural things that fascinate imagination!
And that’s what a sequoia tree can do! The largest trees, by volume, in the world, the Sequoia’s found in the properly named ‘Sequoia’ national park TOWER triumphantly over the forests here.
To give you size and scope: the worlds largest tree, General Sherman, weighs a measly, 1,385 tons…TONS, people, tons means times that by 2,000 lbs and you get 2,760,000 lbs of one tree. Mr. General Sherman is also 275 ft tall, in height, almost the length of a football field.
During hike thoughts: Flabbergasted by the enormity of one living species. These trees grant us, only for a second because our brain can’t handle scale, an opportunity to see beyond a hundred or two hundred years. These Sequoia’s take us to a world 2,200 years ago. We, humans are so small, so tiny, so miniscule in the grandeur picture we really are small. Here we have the sun, warming up this mountainous landscape, gently kissing my skin as I walk in and out of shaded areas, as it shares heat with so many things, everything that exists. ‘One thing touches everything…whoa.’ We have trees that can endure, survive and outlast time. Creating an aromatic rich world inside the forest, where everything is still, yet moving. When I stop, I hear the ‘mini-bears’ (ground squirrels, chipmunks) scurrying around, bluejays screaming, ravens cawing and mountain robins singing. Insects are busy buzzing about the still day, no wind is allowed inside the giants, it can’t get here. I feel like an elf among sky scrapers, my head, happy to be held by muscle and ligaments, launches backwards almost in a falling off manner, just to grab a view of what looks like the tops of these trees. My jaw – permanently dropped, awe-struck by fascination.
During time at the Foothills visitors center, a Park Ranger spoke of the Crescent Meadow Grove and said ‘chance of seeing bears nearby.’ Naturally, I wasn’t going to miss a ‘chance’ at a bear sighting. So, hiking from General Sherman south along the Trail of the Sequoia’s, almost to Tharpers Log and Crescent Meadow a raven caught my eye as it was flying low, as I looked at it, I saw ears moving through the brush: BEARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! “Whoa, that is a bear.”