Our US road trip continued with Sequoia National Park – the forest of giants. As you’ve probably guessed from my description, or maybe you’ve heard or already visited this place, this is the forest that owns some of the largest trees in the world. Actually the so called “General Sherman Tree” is the largest tree on Earth, in respect to the wood mass. I have to admit I only found out about this detail when I arrived home. Before I got to visit Sequoia, I was expecting to see the widest, tallest, largest trees in the World, in this forest, but these trees don’t hold all these titles, as I said they are “only” the largest ones. So my first thought was, “Hmmm…these trees don’t look as giant as I was expecting. Baobabs seemed a lot more impressive!”. It might be because baobabs were the first giant trees I’ve seen or maybe it’s because it’s easier to measure width and hight than the weight with our eyes. But definitely this is something not to be missed from a trip in California.
There are at least two ways where you can explore these forests. Depending on the direction from where you’re coming from you might pass first near the sign that indicates the way to a park that will not be the popular forest with the General Sherman-largest tree. This is what we’ve experienced and even if I regretted it at that moment, it was better than the second forest for a couple of reasons. As I said, the sign we’ve seen on road, led us on the “wrong path”. The road had only one lane most of the times and it was passing on steep heels. I think this was the curviest road I’ve ever traveled on. After hours of driving we got very tired, it just seemed like it will never end. We had only three hours till the sunset and we didn’t encounter any additional sings on the way, although we were already in a beautiful sequoia forest. We suspected something was wrong, so we decided to take break, enjoy the view and a meal in a camping place and then to return on the same road, back to the main one, where we’ve seen the sign in the first place. This place was so peaceful and it looked more like an abandoned camping with barbecue places, small metal boxes fastened to the trees for keeping the food away from the tent and the bears reach. It was not the first time we regretted we did’t have our tent with us in out US road trip, although the days we had were still limited.
We found these giant cones, that I first thought they are made by the sequoia trees, but they were actually from other conifers. We picked a dozen of these cones to give them as souvenirs and people were so happy to receive them, some even told us they were really hoping to receive one of these beauties, after noticing them in one of the photos, the next day, on our Facebook account. I knew people will like them, it happened the same to me. The first time we’ve actually seen one of these giant cones, we were hiking Sierra-Nevada mountains in Yosemite. One of the hikers that passed by, had one attached to his backpack and I became instantly envious :))) From that moment on this became the number one purpose of the hiking: finding a giant cone on the path, but the tree could have been hiding anywhere and it really did. It was an old conifer hiding a little off the main path, but Radu found a way of spotting it, don’t ask me how he did it, but he went straight to the tree! Magic! In Sequoia forest on the other hand, we found several such trees.
Back to the main road, we found the second sign that led us to the main and popular Sequoia Forest, but as you’ve probably guessed this was a very touristic place, so it wasn’t one of my favourite. Although I’d say ,it’s worth seeing the largest tree on Earth! We did reach “General Sherman” sequoia that day, but we didn’t have enough light anymore to explore the rest of the forest, this is why we’ve decided to come back again the next day too. You might have noticed that most of the sequoia trees have partially burned trunks. This is because it has been noticed that heat from the fire is actually helping them to regenerate and reproduce! This was our experience with the Seqoia National Park and I hope you guys enjoyed the story and the beautiful sites in the pictures.