Last night was DARK. I mean no light at all except the stars. Wow! Were there stars. We could only see the ones directly above us because the trees are so tall. But the milky way was visible with more stars than we have seen in a long time.
Burr, it got chilly last night. When we got up, it was 41 degrees outside. I got up and started heating water on the stove for coffee. BTW, at 6,000 feet water just won’t get to a full boil. It steams but that is about the best you can get. This is the second time using a hand pour drip coffee holder. It is an interesting way to make coffee.
Today, we took all the small hikes.
First, we drove all the way to the “End of the Road”. Literally it is the end of CA180, the road through the park. Along the way we saw huge mountains, shear cliffs, roaring rivers, a waterfall, and lots of switch back curves with few if any guardrails.
Some of the guard rails were just very short walls of stone.
The mountains were amazing. There were so many different types of rock. Thousands of feet of granite towering over us but other types too. I could not identify them but there were several from one type that looked like it had a lot of iron mixed it because of the almost rusted color. Some were black and could have been lava.
The road ran along a cut in the mountains that at times was only just wide enough for the two lanes. No extra space beyond the outside lines. Shear rock on one side and a fall of several thousand feet on the other. Nerve racking at times but beautiful.
Once we reached the bottom we were traveling along the banks of a river. It was moving fast and crashing over enormous boulders. Some were as large as houses. I can only imagine the sound something that large would make crashing down from above. As we moved further up stream the boulders became rocks and the river was less violent in rushing over them.
Next we walked to a waterfall.
We would have liked to have stayed longer at the falls but the bugs there were relentless. Even with bug spray on the came and buzzed our faces driving us back to the truck.
At the end of the road, we started back up to camp and eventually had lunch. The drive down is over 26 miles of switch backs and 26 miles back with lots of stops at overlooks.
After lunch, we headed back toward the park entrance to take some of the short “tourist” attractions. They are all short walks on paved paths.
Our first stop was General Grant, a huge tree and a .8 mile path around several others.
Big Stump 2 mile trail which works its way around the remains of some of the largest trees that existed.
Later we hiked a trail that took us past very large stumps. Huge trees used to stand there and it was uncomfortable to stand and look at them.
One tree that was burned in an intense fire is called Resurrection tree. It is called this because after burning it came back to life and now is growing.
Shake pile of an enormous tree that when felled shattered into 1,000’s of pieces after it was cut down. Later the lumberjacks would lay a bed of soft limbs and leaves to catch the tree so it would not shatter. Even though these trees are huge they sort of shatter when they fall.
There are huge stumps at every turn.
And Finally, Mark Twain Stump which was felled to cut slices that were shipped to museums around the country proving that the trees here were really this large. Up until they were at museums many people said the size of the trees as a hoax. There are stairs up to the top which allowed us to stand on the stump and helped to appreciate just how large these trees were.
A man who was working here planted two trees and they were protected. This is what they look like 130 years later.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...