Giant Forest

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It was so quiet. The pine needles strewn on the forest floor seemed to absorb most sounds. I could only hear myself inhaling the thin mountain atmosphere; I watched as my breath-clouds swirled around the misty air. As predicted, 7:30 am was a perfect time to visit the popular giant sequoia forest. It was cold, but the pleasant crispness made my experience walking around the home of these really big trees that much more special.

Though not the tallest trees in the world (that award goes to the Redwoods) the Sequoias are the largest by volume. While most trees taper as they grow upwards, Sequoias keep their girth well up into their branches. Giving one of the giant sequoias a hug is more like opening your arms and just leaning up against their base.

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Hugging a random sequoia. (Note the black fire scar on its left side)

As I strolled along the grove, I took note of how each tree looked different. Their trunks bore strange characteristics and markings that I later learned were due to past wildfires, some as far back as two thousand years ago.

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When a sequoia fell on the road many years ago, they just decided to cut a tunnel into it

These trees are strong, resilient, and special. General Sherman, the largest living thing on the planet, has branches the size of regular trees. I quickly snapped my picture with him before the mid-day onslaught of visitors arrived. Everyone was hoping to catch a glimpse of these marvelous species, and Sherman was the General of ’em all.

And when everything became busier, I slipped further into the forest with the giants.

It was more fun when it was just us.

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