On Sunday I told you how I flew to California for a two week road trip after I visited New York City and how I started the road trip by visiting Yosemite National Park. We finished that blog at the south end of the park and about to enter the Mariposa Grove, which is a group of giant sequoia trees.
Walking among these giants, which happen to be the largest specie of trees in the world, you can not help but feel dwarfed. There is one tree here called the Grizzly Giant that is 2/3 the size of the Statue of Liberty with her pedestal. In fact, the trees are so large you lose perspective. For example one of the branches of the Grizzle Giant is 7 feet in diameter and bigger than most trees trunks.
What I found interesting is thick the bark on the giant sequoias are. If you knock on the 3-4 inch thick bark it sounds very hollow, but the wood itself is quite dense and resistant to rotting. There is a sequoia that fell sometime in the past and Native American oral history has always had the tree on the ground, so it has been there for over 300 years. Yet it looks like it just fell last week.
The hollow sounding bark helps the sequoias help survive wildfires, which happen every 5-20 years, by giving the tree insulation and it is truly amazing to see the fire scars these trees have endured over the millennia. That is right, I did not say over the decades or the centuries, because sequoias thousands of years. There are trees that were already over a hundred years old when Jesus was born. Let that one mull around your noodle for a while. 🙂
The Mariposa Grove was a great introduction to the giant sequoia trees and only made me more excited to drive down to the Sequoia National Park, which is where we will be heading next.