We stopped at a multitude of vista stops along the way to take pictures and to let Lee out of the truck for awhile.
|The Foothills Visitor Center|
|Remains of a tree outside the Visitor Center|
|View Across the Road From the Visitor Center|
|Views Along the Road|
|Heading into the Giant Forest Area|
|One of the large trees in the area|
|Museum and Gift Shop|
This line shows just how tall the Sentinel Sequoia is!
|Inside the Museum|
Then Lee took my picture outside the Museum next to the Sentinel Sequoia Tree which is enormous but not as enormous as many others.
|Standing at the Top of the World!|
|There is a great view from up here!|
|The Sentinel guards the Museum|
So we drove over to the Sherman Tree Trail to see the General Sherman Sequoia. The General Sherman tree is the largest tree on Earth and is estimated to be 2200 years old. The top of the tree is dead but the tree keeps growing in volume. It's largest branch is 7' in diameter! Although the top of the tree is dead, it still grows enough new wood to produce a 60' tall tree of usual proportions.
|Warning at the beginning of the trail|
|The General Sherman Tree From a Distance|
|A huge beryl|
|The General Sherman Tree in the distance|
|The huge General Sherman Tree is estimated to be 2200 years old.|
The hike to the General Sherman Tree is easy going down but then you have to climb back out and there is a 212' change in altitude which is like climbing a 20 story building at an elevation of 7000'. We had our picture taken with the General Sherman Tree. There were lots of people exchanging cameras so that everyone in each group could get everyone in their picture.
|Two Sequoias that grew together|
When we walked back up we stopped a little over half way to rest for a few minutes and we were glad we did because after we started back up, we saw a black bear really close to the path. There were quite a few people hanging around watching him and you wouldn't believe how close we all were but the bear didn't seem concerned, thank God!
|He's a good sized critter!!|
Then as we walked farther up the path, we saw another black bear only this one was far enough away that we felt a bit safer. Of course, the pictures aren't as good!
|The second bear we saw today!|
Then it was time to head back to the campground. When we went out we used California Highway 245 which was just as windy but the turns weren't as sharp so we could travel a little faster than on the way in. It still took forever to get back home though.
|Winding Our Way Home|