Friday, October 1, 2010

Trail of the Giants

See my wife in white for perspective?
Glad we could be in the presence of General Sherman.

As my wife and I walked among the giant sequoias at Sequoia National Park within the Sierra Nevadas of California, I thought of the books which list the essential places to see during one's life time. If one wants to make a list, I would include visiting this forest. We have seen the generous old growth Sitka spruce and Douglas fir of Washington state and the very tall redwoods of coastal northern California, and were moved by the the tall canopy which they provided.

However, the cinnamon coloured bark of the sequoias, the biggest trees in the world with the largest mass, were so breathtaking that I would include these groves as a vital destination. I admit that I was skeptical that the walk to see the largest tree in the world, General Sherman, would equal the sites we have seen. However, among all the trees and the ecosystem provided, these elders were very inspirational. General Sherman, by the way, is considered to be about 2,200 hundred years old with a height of 325 feet.

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, fires, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.
Most of the Sierra trees die of disease, fungi, etc. but nothing hurts the Big tree. Barring accidents, and we mortals it seems to be immortal." ~John Muir

On our way to the Grand Canyon, my wife and I have enjoyed stopping at several fruit stands to gather our supply of the sweetest and freshest peaches, nectarines, oranges, grapes, watermelon, plums,... We passed thousands of acres of high tech farms through the central valley of southern California growing these fruits and were delighted by their quality.