Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon are two adjacent national parks at Southern Sierra Nevada, administrated jointly by the National Park Services. Here you can find the largest tree in the world, the giant Sequoia. Established in 1890, Sequoia is the third National Park right after Yellowstone (WY) and Machinac (MI). King Canyon was formed much later in 1940.

Entered the park, we were immediately astonished by the giants ahead of us. But wait, that titanic 2,200-year-old Sentinel (3rd pix, can you find me in there?), 28 ft (9m) in diameter, 257 ft (78m) in height, and weights about 700 tons, is actually just about average in size. Duh.

A walk on the Big Tree Trail. Big trees decorated by patches of snow. One of these fallen big tree is hallow and one can walk through it.

Finally, here we are, the largest tree, no, the biggest living thing, in the world! Meet General Sherman. There're taller trees, and there are wider trees, but no living things in this planet exceed the volume of this giant sequoia. 2,300-2,700 years old, 274.9 ft (83.8m) tall, 36.5 ft (11.1m) in diameter, the trunk of our Ultimate Living Thing is estimated to be 52,500 cu. ft. (1486.6 cu. m) in volume and weights about 1385 tons.

A walk on the Cresent Meadow trail in the Giant Forest. This forest contains 5 out of 10 biggest trees in the world, including General Sherman above. Giant trees with giant cones... Much to our delight, a curious Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) jumped into our way, studied us for a few minutes before disappearing back into the snow.

People dig a hole in this fallen tree and called it "Tunnel Log (2 pix)." In the next 3 pix is the so-called "Auto Log." In the old days people used to be able to drive their cars onto the log for a photo and thus the name. In the last pic, another fallen log called "Buttress Tree." These fallen logs do not decay easily because of high concentration of tannic acid, which makes the wood indigestible to fungi, bacteria, and insects, etc. These fallen log can remain virtually untouched for hundreds of years.

Hike on Moro Rock. This is a monolithic piece of granite. Great view of the snowy Western Divide (3rd pic) and Sequoia Groves (4th) from up there.

On the way to Kings Canyon. The largest grove of the largest trees in the world, isn't that something?

A hike in the Grant Grove. It was Christmas day, and we celebrated under our national Christmas tree, the General Grant (2nd & 3rd pix) , how about that? General Grant is the world's third largest tree. Only 1,700 years young, it's not nearly as old as other big trees, say the 2,700-years-old General Sherman above. Its size owes much to the right location with perfect lighting, moisture, and nutrient.

Some Native American Remnant in the Hospital Rock. Here used to be the home of Moneche people until 1870. On the stone wall is their graffiti or shall we call painting. On the ground are some 50 grinding spots where the women grind acorns into flour.



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