Sunday, November 14, 2010

October 13. Seqouia National Park.

The Hawthornes are on their way to Sequoia National Park.
Orchards everywhere. Peaches. Citrus. Olives. Artichokes. Pomegranates.
Roadside stand with some of the best peaches I've ever had. (Not better than Georgia peaches, but darn close.)
Mr. Hawthorne hates roads like this. Curving, going up up up, with a straight cliff down.
We stopped at a few little trees along the way.
And now, we're at the Giant Forest, in Sequoia National Park, at 6000 feet elevation, located in the western Sierra Nevada.
And here are the Giant Sequoias.
This tree is known as the Fallen Monarch. A high tannin content makes Giant Sequoia wood indigestible to fungi, bacteria, insects, and other decay organisms. Thus, decay of this wood takes place very slowly. The Fallen Monarch has remained virtually unchanged for well over 100 years. When the grove was set aside as General Grant National Park in 1890, the log was used as an employee camp. Homesteaders Thomas and Israel Gamlin used the log as a house and a saloon to serve visitors to the area. The log was also used by the U.S. Cavalry as a stable for their horses.
Little ground squirrel.
This is the California Tree and my fat finger at the top left. In August 1967, a lightning fire burned out the top 25 feet of this tree. The fire was put out by climbing a fir tree to the right, swinging across to the sequoia, and climbing to the top. A fire hose was then pulled up. Had it not been extinguished, the fire could have burned for weeks inside the tree.
This is the Oregon Tree. In the early days, many of the giant sequoias were named for States of the Union. Few names survive because most were never properly recorded. Today, the practice of naming trees has been discontinue.
This is the Centennial Stump. Diameter - 24 feet. This tree was cut in 1875, and a 16 foot section sent to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876. Only the outer shell was exhibited, the parts being reassembled after shipment. Eastern people refused to accept the exhibit as part of a single tree and called it a "California hoax." It took 2 men 9 days to chop down the tree. Its upper trunk is the scarred log down slope from the Grant Tree. Ladies from a nearby logging camp used to conduct Sunday School services for their children upon the stump.
This is the General Grant tree, the largest of the Giant Sequoias.
The Park Service should put mannequins next to the trees so you'll have some idea of the size. It's all roped off so you can't go near the trees. This picture was taken of the General Grant tree in 1936. In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed it the "Nation's Christmas Tree. President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the tree a "National Shrine," a memorial to those who died in war. It is the only living object to be so declared.
The General Grant Tree is 40 feet in diameter at ground level. The base circumference is 107.6 feet. The tree is 267 feet tall.
Little ground squirrel.
If you look closely, a bad person who does not follow rules sneaked through the opening in the fence and posed next to this smaller tree.
I hate people who don't follow rules.
Can you break a rule if it's in the forest and no one sees you?
I love my self-timer. And I've found it amazing how I can haul ass across whatever obstacles and forces are in my path and get to my destination.

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