Monday, December 24, 2012

Massive hollow log

On August 30 we drove up to Grant's Grove.  This is from a lookout along the way, looking northeast towards King's Canyon National Park.  The two parks are right next to each other but we didn't get over there on this trip:

This is the coolest thing we saw at Grant's Grove, this massive hollow fallen log.  You can see by the two photos below, that it hasn't changed much in the past 112 years:

You can walk all the way through it:

Here's another huge fallen tree not far away.  There's nobody in this one for scale, but that fence comes up to around chest height on me:

After that we went to another lookout, this is looking east as well:

Next time, the big stump trail from an area that was logged in the 1800's...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Politician trees... and a BEAR!

I really have to pick up the pace with putting these August photos up... because in December I went to Death Valley, and boy do I have photos to show you from there!

So here are a few more pics from Sequoia National Park, this time the Congress trail.  Saw this on August 29, after visiting the cave.

Here's the entrance from the handicapped parking lot.  You pass through this fallen tree.  I entered at the handicap parking lot as I was dropped off there for a bum knee- it was bothering me all week.  I sure wasn't going to miss any hiking though, which was part of the reason it wasn't recovering!

Here are the weathered roots of a fallen tree.  I took lots of pictures like this one but will bore you with only one:

Little baby sequoia!

Sequoia devouring a rock...

The still-standing burned out trees can be very beautiful and eerie:

A lot of these trees are named after past presidents, political figures, and military leaders.  This one is generically "The President"

This grove is "The House"

And this one, "The Senate".

Me passing through another tree tunnel cut in the path:

Towards dusk, we were headed back along the Congress trail when I saw a strange looking hiker up ahead, coming towards us on the trail.  I looked closer... a BEAR!

We switched over to another trail after that, and beat it to the car.  I was surprised to see a bear on this trail as it is not backcountry at all, but I guess it was getting late in the day and the bear wanted his trail back.

Next up will be a visit to Grant Grove, so stay tuned, despite my history of slow updates...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crystal Cave

On August 29, we headed down to Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park.  This cave has been open to the public since 1940.

Here's the group getting ready for the tour into the cave:

The gate is a cool metal spiderweb:

Cave photos can pretty much speak for themselves, so here you go:

Another view of the spiderweb gate on the way out:

Next stop, the Congress trail, to see some more big trees.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Moro rock

This distinctive bald chunk of mountain is Moro rock in Sequoia National Park.  Let's go!

Here is a view of it as we climbed up the switchback road, on August 28.  The road was under construction, and cars could only pass through the construction zone once an hour, so here we are in the string of cars passing through.

Here's the trail heading up the back of the rock.  Good thing it's got that railing in most places- it's a steep and scary trail!

Looking to the northeast from the trail:

Looking to the south from another spot of the trail, it wound back and forth going up the rock.  Here you can see the road we just drove up.

See, this rock is pretty steep in most places!  The trail has been carved and built into it, probably back in more destructive times in park history.

Up up up... it was pretty darn cool.  There were lots of people climbing, even though they're not in many of my photos.  There was lots of complaining from people along the trail - it's very popular, and I think a lot of people on it aren't really hikers.  Even little short-legged purse dogs were gamely shooting up the stairs.

The top!  It's got a railing around it, which is a good thing.

Proof I was there:

Ed took these two photo panoramas from the summit:

Fun!  Next stop is Crystal Cave, which we visited the next day, so don't go far...