The national parks in the United States such as Sequoia National Park has never ceased to amaze me. When they say in the advert “the rockiest mountains of Nevada” , it was indeed the rockiest mountain I have ever been to. I was told that Yosemite is like God’s gift to humanity…it was absolutely true the minute I saw the meadows, the waterfalls, the forest, the rocks and the acres of green fields and most of all, when we entered the Sequoia National Park and saw General Sherman.
Last week, my Brother was talking about Sequoia Park….even raving about the oldest tree in the world, I told to myself, now that is something I wouldn’t want to miss. Because based from the previous parks I have been too, I never was disappointed. So when he said, Suz we need to leave at 6.30 in the morning, I replied …i am ready Bro…take me to that big ole tree…
From Fresno, we took the route 180 towards Sequoia. Reservoirs…orchards…vineyards…and my gosh… the altitude, plus the winding roads got into me (4000 – 7000)…i started to sweat, legs were starting to wobble and I am trying really really hard to hold on to the bagel I had for breakfast. Fortunately, we brought along an orange which apparently will easethe sickness. The instruction given to me was to bruise the peel and sniff… I wish I had taken a photo of that orange because by the time we reached our final destination, the poor fruit was not just bruised but I battered the living daylights out of it. So on this note, I pay tribute to the lone orange …for helping me throuhgout the journey.
Then I saw “The Sentinel” which ranks 42nd in the list of Wikipedia’s largest giant sequoias and I must say that with the height of 78.50 meters, this gentle giant, is so elegant and powerful. The trunk is like cemented and solid and at the same time, it looks leathery from a distance…..apart from the appearance, one important thought struck me….if this tree is considered as one of the ancient organisms in the planet, that means it is a witness to the earth’s evolution….if only the tree could talk.
At this point, my body is already climatized and has started to become one with the environment….so I said, take me now to “General Sherman”.
The Park provides shuttles that would take the visitors from one sight to another. There are rangers by the bus stops to assist with directions and also makes sure that people are organized and orderly when getting on and off the bus. And so we took the shuttle to The Giant Forest Grove where “General Sherman” of Sequoia resides.
It was no surprise to see a crowd gathered at the foot of this tree. A photo with the General is essential…yes indeed.
Why? Because not everyday do you get to see the largest single stem tree that is 2700 years old, 83.80 meters in height…circumference of 31.30 meters and….man oh man….it was really tall!