July 8, 2015

Sequoia National Park: where trees dwarf humans

The best part of traveling is that in a new place you see everything with fresh eyes. You see the beauty that someone who sees it daily might start to gloss over and take for granted. Just like you runnerds out there take for granted your running health until you get an injury. (raise your hand if you are guilty) And then when you head back to your own place in the world, you see it with those same fresh eyes that you cultivated while you were away.


But then there are places that it seems impossible to ever stop be amazed by. Sequoia National Park is one of those places, where the trees and mountains dwarf you. 


And here are just a few of the reasons you should go to there. 

General Sherman is a must-see, but honestly, when I was in Redwood Canyon (scroll down), I thought that so many of the trees seemed equal to The General but just with no line in front to take your picture in front of it. Yes, there was a significant picture-taking line.

Walking through a tree.

The hugest!

The biggest trees produce the tiniest cones.

They decided to start a cone collection and have a sale. But supply and demand was off.


The panorama view. Because giant sequoias don't fit in a pic any other way.

Fitting our family into a burned-out tree.

Moro Rock was not the overall group favorite. My nine year old was so not into it. The sobbing and clinging to the rock was the first clue.


One of the six year olds was into it.

The other was this.


But he went to the top and acted like he never even cared at all on the way back down, like he was so brave all along.

P.S. I am also really afraid of heights. 

But with practice, you can overcome some fears. Like by sitting slightly close to a ledge.


Or by jumping three inches off the ground in a rock stairwell.

Sometimes a tiny jump is bigger in your heart.


So yes, go to Moro Rock. Be prepared to be scared if that kind of thing scares you, but it is totally doable, even for scaredy-cats like me.

Redwood Canyon was something I almost skipped. We had a full morning of sightseeing with a lot of bathroom and snack breaks along the way, and the idea of a run was slipping further into the background. But Amory really pushed me to do it and agreed to drop me off and pick me up while he took a back-dirt-road adventure of his own (he loves to try and get stuck in awkward places in the car). 

Once I got out there, I'm not sure if I got much running done because I had to keep stopping to stare all around me. 


Between that and my (not so) irrational fear of a bear attack, this was a very distracted run.


If a giant sequoia falls in the woods but nobody is around, guess what. It still makes a noise. And then 100 years later, someone sits on it and takes a selfie.


Even the poops on the trail are huge. Ten points for anyone who can identify this dung. I had convinced myself it was bear poop, but I could be persuaded to believe otherwise.


Just stop, Redwood Canyon. You are magic. That is all.


This is where I waited for my ride home. Part of it was because, hey, let me use this giant tree as a bench. But the other part was because I thought it might give me an advantage on all the approaching bears. I mean, no, I didn't see one, but I knew that at any moment I could. 


Again, the pano says a little more. Blurry but more.

And then back to camp to refuel!



Until the next stop, enjoy where you are right now. Because you might not be there again soon, or because where you are is already pretty darn good.