Family Vacation Stop: Sequoia

Sequoia National Park in California is located between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. On the western slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, between 5,000 and 7,000 feet elevation, you find the only naturally existing Sequoia trees on the planet, of which many are thousands of years old. Sequoia is home to the world’s largest standing tree, a Sequoia himself, General Sherman (3,200 years old). If you ask me, I think God likes California a whole lot, because he gave some really awesome things to it exclusively–minimal bugs and perfect weather in Southern California top my list.

The drive up from Southern California.

“You will get stuck for an hour going up and coming down the mountain. Oh and if you don’t leave before 11:30 pm, you aren’t leaving until morning.”

Great photo opportunities when this happens though. Pictured above is Moro Rock, a popular attraction for its spectacular views from the top.

Up up we go.

When we were in the vicinity of the Big Trees Trail, the sun was beginning to sink low, and my amazing husband knew I was itching to get out and get some photographs. We found the nearest place to pull off of the road and stumbled upon this . . .

Beetle Rock. Wow right!? So if you find yourself staring at a sign that says “museum parking,” pull in and follow the sun. You won’t be sorry you did.

O-H-I-O representing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

Day and night views from Wuksachi Lodge–the monopoly hotel in the park. If you are not a camper, or you find yourself traveling with bear food (a young child) then I highly recommend this over camping or driving in for the day.

Don don don dondondon dondondon. Don don don dondondon dondondon. (Darth Vader theme song for those of you who don’t eat, breath and sleep Star Wars like my guys do).

Something my father-in-law said to me on this trail stuck with me. He said, “Just think, some of these trees were just little seedlings when Christ was born.” My husband commented later that while some of them were seedlings, some were already towering giants. General Sherman would have been one of those giants.

Bear snack.

Noah spotted a bear. And this wasn’t the only one. We also saw a bear on the Big Trees Trail (up next) about half a football field away or less. They say that bears are more scared of us than we are of them, but this bear seemed pretty chillaxed moseying on through. Not going to lie, I was scared, more for the bear snack on Neil’s back than anything else. Then when we were driving out of the mountains we saw two baby cubs cross the street. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough and they were gone. But they were so cute!!!

Big Trees Trail

The bark of the Sequoia tree is what makes it able to live for so long. It is nearly fire resistant and can be up to 31 inches thick. This paired with special chemicals in its wood that wards off fungi and insects help the Sequoias live for thousands of years.

Crescent Meadow

Giddy up Daddy, h-ya h-ya.

Don’t be alarmed by random fires.

Controlled fires are needed so the forest does not become too dry. This way, things die, and new life can begin. There is a time and a season for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3)

Plus these little guys house the seedlings of the giants, and they need the fires to disperse their seeds and fertilize the earth.

The views were so spectacular the first night, we came back for more.

Plus Noah REALLY wanted to take an O-H-I-O photo with me in it. (Photo credit: Noah)

Simba.

My favorite from Beetle Rock.

A family betting on what time the sun would slip behind the mountains.

Breathtaking.

Taking it all in on the way out.

We are already making plans to go back, if only for a jar of Sequoia pinecones. My one regret. I had so many in my hands over the course of the trip too, but never even thought to take a couple. I guess maybe some things are better left undisturbed.

A truly humbling experience overall. Unforgettable.

I have so much left to blog its crazy! Our trip to Ohio, Family Reunion, Disneyland, California Adventure, the Bennett wedding, Redondo Beach! I will most likely be blogging about our summer well into winter. Maybe it will keep me warm? But I just had so much fun editing the Sequoia pictures I couldn’t wait to share. Plus I had some little birdies bugging ;o) Hope you enjoyed!

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