We spent Sunday night at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge located inside the Sequoia National Forest. The building was built years ago, added on and added on, the interior was a maze of twisting halls and stairs. Yet our room was quaint and comfortable – and without a TV!
Which was fine as we were exhausted and feel right to sleep.
Monday morning we were back visiting the giant sequoias, this time in search of General Sherman, the largest living tree (in terms of sheer mass) in the world. On our way down the many steps to the tree we came across a stone mosaic that showed us the size of General Sherman in a way that made it easy to understand.
So here he is, looking from the ground up.
These trees, thousands of years old, remind me how short our own lives are. They’ve been here, sitting right here long before I came along and they’ll be here, sitting right here for a thousand years after no one remembers me at all. That might make me feel insignificant, but in fact it gave me comfort to think that some things continue on.
…which offered a bit of relief from the overpowering strength and shadows of the giant trees. Yet in the woods surrounding the sunlit meadow were hundreds more huge trees waiting to be discovered. They weren’t named like the trees in the giant grove, yet they were just as impressive.
And you could get right up and touch them, no fences between us and these sweet giants. We also learned on the walk around the meadow more about how fire helps in the restoration of the forest and aids in the birth of new sequoia trees.
Everywhere we looked we saw the cycle; the new seedlings, the tall but immature trees, the mature giants, the burned stumps and the roots of the fallen. It was sobering to be walking alone among these trees that have lived such long and good lives.
And for a break from the trees we decided to climb this:
And then we climbed down the 350 steps to the car, while giving encouragement to those beginning their ascent. I knew better than to lie and tell them they were almost there. But I could promise them the climb was worth it.
Oh. And we saw bear! A mama bear and her two cubs down the hill from the road. The cubs were darling, but no pictures, we only got a glimpse. Then a bear walking down below the parking lot at Moro Rock, but we only saw him through the trees, more a shadow than a real bear. And finally one walking down the road in front of the car in front of us.
And this shot through our driver’s side window shows a disgruntled bear kind of ticked off to be the center of attention.
Though you never know.