Sunday, March 4, 2012

Book a ticket & just leave!

Saturday -- February 18, 2012 - Ashley and I had talked about staying in Yosemite another night. It was a holiday weekend, and Yosemite is so large we could easily find more things to occupy our time here. Plus we figured we would have more to do in Yosemite then being in Napa Valley for 3 days. We called the front office and unfortunately they did not have any openings for the night. So we packed up our stuff and  went about our day. 

We had breakfast at the hotel again, and unfortunately it was not like it was the first day. Today it was like a normal continental breakfast. Except we had a little more to choose from. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, then all the regular stuff like cereal, toast, muffins, coffee and juice. We filled our bellies and continued about our travels. 

Driving back towards Yosemite, we decided we would go see the Sequoias at Mariposa Grove then hit up Badger Pass. The drive into Mariposa Grove was nowhere as grueling as the drive down into the valley. In fact it took about 10 minutes, oppose to an hour plus.

When you get to the entrance of the grove, you approach upon a parking lot... and thats it. You park your car and hike. Unlike the valley where technically you can just drive the entire thing and see the basic sights. When we pulled into the parking lot there was a ton of families getting out. It kind of reminded me of going to Disney World. Ya know, when you park and then all the families get out of their car simultaneously, and start unpacking the van or car all excited for the exhausting day ahead of them. So all these families were getting on their hiking boots, and their coats. Some people had snow shoes, and others had skis to hike through the area. 

The whole area was completely covered in snow. Which made the hike extremely difficult because everything was a side walk. Well the thing with snow is that after so many people walk in the same area, the snow gets packed down and turns into ice. And is hella slippery. I think I spent most the day on my butt then on my feet. It was fun sliding around though, being from Florida the only time I slide is running through the kitchen with my socks and panties on re-inacting Risky Business. There was also a ton of families in the same area all going along the same path, which was rather irritating. After being in the Valley the day before where it was pretty much just us and nature, it got quite annoying to have so many children running around us. And of coarse they had about every generation of their family on their vacation so going around them was not happening.

Now I don't know what I was expecting when it came to going and seeing the Seqoias. I mean I knew I was going to see some very large trees. But I think I thought the whole forrest was going to be nothing but these monsters. I guess it doesn't work like that. The first tree we came up to was a Sequoia that had fallen down many years ago. Like many, many, maaaaaaaaaaany years ago. It was once used as a bridge for soldiers to cross over. 

Thats the trees roots, well... some of them. The roots grow out from one-hundred to one-hundred and fifty feet, and sometimes as far as two-hundred feet. This means the roots can span over some four acres of forrest land. You would think that the roots would grow really deep for a tree this big, but they don't. The entire root system only grows about four to five feet under the soil surface. Which is extremely delecate. I stand five feet tall. You can see me compared to that tree that five feet deep under the soil, honestly is not that deep for such a massive structure. -- Learning is fun isn't it! 

So seeing how the roots are not that far underneath the soil, getting close to the trees was prohibited. That is why all the trails were fenced in I suppose.

The Bachelors and Three Graces.
Grizzly Giant
This tree was called the Grizzly Giant. Those branches coming out of that tree were the size of a regular tree trunk. If I was going to name a tree that large, I believe Grizzly would be up on the list of names I had picked out. A majority of the Sequoias were not that big... But some of them were freaking huge. I can only imagine what the person said when they were walking and saw one of these things for the first time. Because my reaction was something along the lines of, "Now thats a big mother effin tree." These things are so big you almost feel like its going to attack you or something. Like something that big can not- not harm you. But I got out of there with all my fingers and toes, so I guess I'm lucky this time.

So the last tree on the hit-list, was the infamous tunnel tree. They carved out a nice hole in this tree so they could drive their cars though it back in the day. Over the years though I guess the tree is starting to fill in. Literally healing it self. Pretty cool if you ask me. Sequoias do some amazing things. Like they will fuse themselves together.  I didn't get a picture of it, but if two trees grow closely, they will actually start to grow into one tree. 

Tunnel Tree
So there you have it. The Redwood. I have always wanted to see them. They are even more beautiful then I could have imagined. I just thought there would be... more. But I guess when you have something this big you do not need a huge forrest filled with them.

The stood so high. It was impossible to get a photo of the whole thing. I mean, you saw the Grizzly Giant photo and how far I was away to get that thing. And to think I was just walking along trying not to fall on my butt, looked up and saw that thing. All you can say is -- whoa. 

This picture above is what the forrest looked like. So on one side you had all these little trees, then on the other side this one massive Redwood. So they really were few and far between. Then of coarse I couldn't leave with out hugging one. What can I say... I'm a tree hugger. I mean, if you haven't figured it out already... I kinda love nature. I think everyone should. It is so delicate, and disappearing so rapidly. 

About two summers ago I created a 30 things to do before I turn 30 list. Going to see the Redwoods was one of them... CHECK! 

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