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Sequoia trees are marvels in themselves, the sheer size of them will leave you flabbergasted, picking your jaw up from the floor while scrambling around trying to figure a way to capture this moment, only it’s not possible, there aren’t words nor pictures to explain or show the feeling of standing next to one of these massive giants. It’s an experience one must have for themselves, an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.
We first learned of these giants through a story we heard a few years back, claiming that there aren’t any forests today, there are only shrubs left behind from a mass destruction that happen years ago. That the national parks, monuments, and mountains are nothing but quarries and waste pits.
That petrified wood isn’t petrified wood at all, it’s merely, the twigs and branches left behind from the ancient silica trees that once grow in these quarries.
“A Person Who Asks A Question Is A Fool For A Minute But The Person Who Does Not Ask Is A Fool For Life”
Devils Tower Compared To A Tree Stump
This story left us mind-boggled, questioning everything we have ever been taught. We couldn’t help but wonder if this, in fact, was true and everything we had previously learned was a lie. It left us with a whole new perspective of the world around us. A desire to see everything with our very own eyes.
If you would like to learn more about the silica trees just google it, tons of information will come up during your search.
A Person Who Asks A Question Is A Fool For A Minute But The Person Who Does Not Ask Is A Fool For Life
After more than two years of traveling around, at times within a days drive, attempting to get a glimpse of one of these massive giants, we finally made it to the Sequoia National Park.
Our first stop, the visitor center to pick up the kids Jr. Ranger books, to allow them to obtain every ounce of information the national park system could provide.
1. Sequoia trees grow at between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in elevation.
2. Fire is needed to reproduce Sequoia trees. It allows sequoia cones to open and drop their seeds in the fresh ash bed
3. Mount Whitney, located in Sequoia National Park is the tallest mountain in the continental U.S. 14,494 feet tall.
4. The average size sequoia tree is 180-250 tall, however, the largest one, General Sherman, is a towering 275 ft tall and 36 ft in diameter.
5. Sequoia trees have a chemical in their bark called tannin, which helps to protect against rot, boring insects and even fire
6. Sequoia trees can live to be 3000 years old.
7. There are miles and miles of crystal caves that lay below Sequoia National Park.
8. Hale Tharp, a European settler, once built a home out of a hollowed-out fallen giant sequoia log.
9. Sequoia National Park was the second national park established in the United States – in 1890. It was established to protect the region’s giant trees from logging.
10. The first people to live in the national park were the Monache Indians.
The best view we’ve seen Yet!
The rare occasion we all make it into a photo
The Great Western Divide
Afterward, we drove to a viewing point called Moro Rock, a trail that leads you along a stairway climbing a dome-shaped granite rock to the most breathtaking views of the Great Western Divide.
Along the way, the kids worked on their Jr. Ranger books while we all discussed the possibility of the crystal caves that lay below the park being what used to be the root system of the silica trees we heard about in the story above.
Something we couldn’t help but wonder!
Now it was time for us to see the tree that lured us to the park in the first place. The Great General Sherman. A tree that stands 275ft tall and is estimated to weigh 4.1 million pounds. A tree that makes other trees look the size of the Christmas tree you bring inside your home during the holidays. And lastly, a tree that we can’t help but look at and wonder if this to was once a regular size tree.
I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that once you hear the story of the silica trees, you can’t un-hear it, which will leave you with a whole new perspective of the world around you.
What do you think? Do you believe the trees in the past towered over the largest trees standing today?