Sequoia National Park: Miss Pam, Miss Hesse, and Miss Hurdle and two Harrisburg high school teachers went to Sequoia National Park this past summer. The park is over 7000 feet above sea level. The drive up that high was scary! It was a sheer drop-off on one side of our rented car with no guardrail. We spent the night at a rustic lodge and set out for the sequoias early the next morning. Five of the ten largest trees in the world are here in a section of Sequoia National Park called Kings Canyon. This is where we went to hike what's called the Congress Trail. The trail is given this name because of the names of the huge trees that relate to American history.
The Congress Trail is a paved loop that starts at the General Sherman Tree, the largest in the world, and goes about a mile south, up and down and then back around. Along this trail there are impressive, immense sequoias. Believe me, these trees look just as big as the Sherman Tree. At the south end of the loop are two unusual groupings of sequoias called the House and Senate groups. Although overall the Congress Trail has the biggest sequoias of any trail in the park, the forest around the Congress Trail is somewhat stark and barren; there's no ground cover or under-story whatsoever. This may be due to its hilltop location (it is really high) or perhaps to the controlled burns which you can see evidence of on the trunks of these giants --don't worry, the burns don't hurt the trees. The trail to the Sherman Tree is really busy, but almost everyone just goes to the Sherman Tree and leaves. Not us...The Congress Trail is pretty quiet in comparison to the crowd around General Sherman. Actually, the trail was our favorite part --although we did have to stop to rest and breathe. The oxygen level is rather thin up that high, and you feel it. It is incredible to walk among these magnificent trees. All the photos today were taken by Miss Hesse. See if you recognize anyone...
It is almost impossible to photograph a giant sequoia from the bottom to the top --This photo in winter is by National Geographic.
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