Saturday, 31 March 2012

April 2nd-3rd, 2010

It worked out well that Kelly & Barney were early risers because we had a long way to go if we wanted to make it to Sequoia National Park before nightfall.  We said goodbye to Kelly & Barney as they were packing to head back home to Taos, New Mexico. 
Hoping to save time, we decided to ride through Sequoia National Forest which ended up taking more time because of all the twisty roads weaving its way around mountains.  At one point we were riding high enough in elevation that everything around us was covered in snow.  We stopped at a local diner to warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate.  Amanda couldn’t resist stocking up on the various jams and honey packets they had available on the table.   No regrets taking this route whatsoever because the scenery was well worth it.

We passed by many orange orchards on the way and couldn’t resist the temptation

We made it!  I reckon we only have an hour of daylight left; we better hurry up and find a place to camp.

We ended up staying at a self-register campground within the park, which automatically means we’re going to be up at the crack of dawn the next morning.  We were lucky enough to get a site as there were many campers in the campground.  We didn’t have to worry about noise because somewhere close by there must’ve been a waterfall or rapid that drowned out all other noise.  It didn’t take long for us to fall asleep as we had succumbed to the soothing sound of moving waters. 
The next morning we rode to the visitor center to use the facilities and get information about the park.  We found out that the largest living tree in the world dwells within the park—General Sherman.  This we have got to see!

Back in the day, the road used to go through Tunnel Rock allowing vehicles to drive under.  Today, the road has been paved to go around it; probably for safety reasons.  This didn’t deter Amanda from reliving the past.

On route to find General Sherman

We noticed we were going up in elevation at a back breaking pace as the road was constantly twisting its way in incline.

The picture above was taken at the bend you see here

Ok, we’re getting close!  Look at the size of those trees!

The next series of pictures is me attempting to get a shot of this massive sequoia tree and Amanda in its entirety…

…a little further back…

…just a little bit more…

…I give up.

Truly amazing; this isn’t even General Sherman!  I can’t imagine what that tree is going to look like.

Getting informed at the Giant Forest Museum

In order for us to get to General Sherman, we had to park the bikes and hike a short distance.  The parking lot was jam packed with tourists.  Lucky for us we were able to squeeze our bikes in a little nook where it wouldn’t be bothered.  There was a rush of anticipation and excitement as we walked the trail towards the largest living tree on the planet.  It’s not an everyday occurrence where one gets an opportunity to witness such a rare celestial being. 
There she blows!

Words can’t describe what we’re seeing right now

It was so big, you can live in it

It’s a long way down if a cat ever got stuck up there

Might not be the tallest or widest, but pound-for-pound this is the biggest tree on earth

The snow banks continued to rise as we made our way towards Kings Canyon National Park


It was too cold for us to continue onwards.  We took a picture of the sign and that was it.

421 km

Desert to lush green.
The largest living species.
Thousands of years old.

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