Hiking at Sierra National Park: The Adventure Begins

I spent two and a half days hiking at Sequoia National Park with my friend Terry. We camped at the Patwisha campground. On Thursday we went to the Giant Forest area and hiked the Sherman Tree Trail, the Congress Trail, and pieces of other trails. We saw a bear with two cubs within 10 minutes of arriving. Bears are cool, but trees are cooler. The sheer size and majesty of the redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum) impressed me. The signs of lightning strikes and fires were plentiful in the grove. It is amazing how resilient the trees are in the face of the forces of nature.

Giant redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

Giant redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

A grove of redwoods.

The Founders Grove.

The General Sherman viewed from below.

The General Sherman viewed from below.

Seeing the General Sherman was a thrill. This tree is believed to be the largest plant in the world (when measuring by volume or mass). The dark understory and bright sky made photographing the behemoth difficult–I have many pictures with grossly overexposed skies.

After seeing the redwoods we hiked up Moro Rock. This is not Morro Rock, which sits proudly in Morro Bay, but is another rock (granite dome, in fact) with a similar name that resides at high elevation. We were seeing Moro Rock because of the view from the top. Over the years stairs and railings have been added to the rock. At one time reaching the top of Moro Rock was very hazardous–now it is rather harmless if you exercise common sense and don’t get struck by lightning.

Moro Rock viewed from the Generals Highway.

Moro Rock viewed from the Generals Highway.

The Moro Rock stairway is on the National Register of Historic Places. From the top of Moro Rock much of Sequoia National Park is visible.

The bottom of the stairs.

The bottom of the stairs.

Handrails come and go. Don't fall to the left!

Handrails come and go. Don’t fall to the left!

Walking along the top of the rock reminded me how much I respect heights. I took many pictures, but the haze in the sky made them less impressive than I expected them to be. It made me happy to think that the peak we would hike the next day was thousands of feet higher than this point.

We went back to camp, had supper, and spent the evening talking about life.


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