Friday, July 13, 2012

Sequoias Part VI - General Grant Tree

On Monday morning, we woke up pretty early and headed off to see the General Grant Tree.

Wikipedia: General Grant Tree
"The General Grant tree is the largest giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park in California and the second largest tree in the world"

Almost the first thing you come across is this massive downed Sequoia.

The funniest part of this photo, is I had just been thinking in the days before about how you get those great sun spots on your photos, and wondering how you did that.  I ended up with the right results, but still don't know how to do it intentionally!

Anyway, this tree is called "The Fallen Monarch" and when this area was first settled, they used this tree first as a shelter before they built a cabin ( just up the trail from here) and then later as a hotel, a saloon and even housed 32 calvary horses.  You can still walk right through it from one end to the other.

This is a shot from inside of the tree looking out the other end.  Looks a bit like a keyhole and for some reason always makes me think of pirates and treasure.  Is that just me?

This is a shot from inside the tree back towards the roots.  Obviously, to use it as a bar today they'd have to do some roofing work, but still pretty awesome to think of it being used in so many ways!

We wandered up the path a bit and found the Gamlin Cabin across from the General Grant Tree.  This cabin was built in 1872 by Isreal Gamlin and was his home along with his brother, Thomas. They grazed cattle on nearly 160 acres. After General Grant National Park was established in 1890, the cabin was used as a storehouse by the U.S. Cavalry who patrolled the park until 1913 - hence using The Fallen Monarch as a stables. Later it became the quarters of the first park ranger stationed here.  

Let me just say, for a cabin built that long ago it's in remarkably good condition and the fireplace takes over pretty much the entire back side of the cabin.  Of course, *I* wouldn't want to winter here.  No way no how.  

When we walked up to the cabin, a ranger was inside giving a little talk about the cabin and the history of the area and the trees.  

Bug and Bunny were enchanted and paid close attention.  And Tamlin's wife caught them being particularly loving that morning while they listened.  Bunny was so proud she asked the Ranger a question that I'm not sure she even listened to the answer.  That's my Bunny.

In the photo above The Hubs asked me to kneel down and worship the great Grant Tree.  I think the Tweedles thought I was worshiping them.

And this, my dear friends, is the worship-worthy Grant Tree.  It still kills me thinking that these trees have been around for thousands of years!  I'm just in awe when I'm around them, wondering what they would say if they could talk and tell of all the things they've seen.   I also secretly think they could come to life at any minute, and they're just asleep like in the Narnia series, just waiting for the right person to wake them.  I was disappointed when I yelled "WAKE UP" and the only thing that happened was people stared at me and The Hubs rolled his eyes.  Oh well, guess I'm not the right person, at least I tried!

A little further down the trail, we got this shot of The Tweedles loving each other again.  I have no idea what got into them, but I did enjoy every hugging minute of it.

And just to end this little tale on a not so sappy-sweet note, we ran into this little fella in the parking lot on the way back.  Anyone know what kind of bug he is?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

P.S. Next up.. the waterfall!

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