We went to Sequoia National Park today which is in the southern Sierra Nevada. From where we were staying we had to drive 22 miles of very windy roads climbing from 800 feet to 6,500 feet above sea level. On the way, we stopped at Hospital Rock (first picture) which was once home to 500 Potwisha Native Americans. The rock got its name because a man named John Swanson was exploring the Giant Forest and sustained an injury to his leg. He was transported to the rock where the injury was treated by local Indians. We also took a short hike to a waterfall (Picture 6) and took Leslie’s picture at one of the overlooks (does anyone else see the devil horns?).
We finally got to the Giant Forest which is home to over 8,000 Sequoia trees (which is half of the Earth’s largest and longest-living trees). Many of the trees are over 2,000 years old. They are incredible, and much to Don’s frustration, impossible to get all in one picture (2nd and 3rd pictures). We went to Moro Rock (7th picture) to get a bird’s eye view of the mountains and then took the Sugar Pine trail to Crescent Meadow. (Leslie is posing with a sugar pine cone we found along the way.) We had another bear encounter in the meadow. This time we did not turn around (since we knew all we had to do is give the bear space) and Don got to get a picture of the bear’s face – actually about 50 of them. He was so happy. Leslie also got to pose with the bear (as you can see we were really not that close – Don was using a telephoto lens).