I had these photos squirreled away from our trip to Yosemite in February. My friend, Erin, has requested more Sequoias so this post is dedicated to her.
Maripsoa Grove is the largest grove of giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park. We were fortunate enough to visit when the road to the grove was open, but shuttles were not yet running through the woods themselves. We walked the various trails snaking through the trees up to the fallen tunnel tree at the far end of the grove. A tunnel was cut into the base of this tree in 1881 so that tourists could drive horse drawn carriages (then eventually cars) though it. Because of the massive hole in its base, the tree fell in 1969, helping to spark more conservation efforts for the Sequoias.
It’s hard, even in their presence to comprehend the size and age of these massive trees. They have survived thousands of years and will outlive all of us. In theory of course. Numerous giant sequoias were cut down in the late 19th century before they were protected. In some areas, like where we camped last year, you can climb up on the stumps of the long ago felled trees. At times it seems only when they are lost can we comprehend what they were. It would be easy to say that they are now safe, but even with the national park protection, humans have a way of destroying things. In April someone set fire to the Fallen Goliath Tree in King’s Canyon. It’s not known whether it was intentional started, but now only charred pieces of the ancient tree remain. This is just one event of many of incidents of humans continuing to destroy that which should be preserved. It’s too sad to list more.
The hike itself was not terribly strenuous but I found myself fairly depleted after an uphill stretch in the exposed sun. I watched some kids bound ahead of me on the trail and I felt so slow. Though I’m building strength and tolerance, altitude of any sort does not agree with me. I suppose that is what I get for living near sea level my entire life. We stopped and ate sandwiches on the steps of the then closed museum. Nearby was the only snow we saw on the trip, just enough for someone to make a small snow man. We hiked back on a different route, passing the faithful couple, two giant sequoias that have grown into each other as they sometimes do.
In the past few months we’ve tried to do as much hiking and outdoor adventures as we can but I think this year is going to be landmark summer for excursions. As the warm weather rolls in I find myself longing to be outdoors even more, dreaming of walking for miles amidst the trees, along creeks or up mountains (well maybe just some hills). I know this blog will eventually circle back to more creative things but for now it seems like it should have a subtitle of something like “Alix in nature.” Hope you don’t mind.