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Re: All the Presidents' Trees

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All the Presidents' Trees
March 01, 2015 07:02PM
Those who frequent this forum know that JKW and I like to go to Sequoia for some snowshoe action on MLK and Presidents' Day weekend--and that often friends or family join us. You'll also know that for the past few years, we haven't needed our snowshoes. February 2015 continued the tradition of winter-unlike conditions.

The road to Crescent Meadow was open when we hit the Giant Forest area on Friday, so we decided to check out Moro Rock. Being able to climb this in winter is a treat, since in summer the views are much worse due to Central Valley smog. Since there weren't too many people looking, I stepped over the safety railing at the end of the trail and found... more trail, and signs of past railings.

I don't know why the well-constructed path was cut short, but the views beyond the safety of the current railing are really not much better...

After that, we hiked to Sunset Rock for, well, sunset. The calendar may have thought it was still winter, but the conditions were well into spring.

Odd, it was actually a blue and black dress she was wearing...

The next day we did the Trail of the Sequoias around Giant Forest--well, most of us. JKW took it easy to rest her injured ankle. TL;DR: no snow. The previous weekend had looked promising: a wet system coming in, perhaps enough to re-open the Wolverton sledding area. Alas, the snow level was around 9500', so instead, whatever snow was down below 8000 was mostly melted. From Eagle View, we could see the Great Western Divide and the closest significant snow.

For a Saturday of a three-day weekend, the Congress Grove was oddly empty--but we were making good time around the loop due to an early start and absolutely no snow to slow us down.

In "real" winter years where we have to snowshoe in from the museum, we might have lunch at Eagle View; we were past the President, McKinley, and Lincoln Trees before we decided to stop for lunch.

We had a nice lunch on the granite above the Alta Trail just past the Washington Tree.

The Washington Tree itself was once one of the biggest trees in the world, but in fact the top part of it was hollow, and a fire reduced it to a more ordinary Sequoia--one that is still alive.

After looping along the Alta Trail and crossing back to the Crescent Meadow road via the Soldier's trail, we dropped down to the Sugar Pine Trail, which eventually crosses the outlet of Crescent Meadow near a pretty cascade.

From this trail we continued up to Bobcat Point and Kaweah View--neither really offering more views than available from Moro Rock or Eagle View, but still welcome stops along the way.

As we dropped into Crescent Meadow we could hear the frogs in the meadow--loudly. For them, it was clearly spring.

The next day we decided to return to Redwood Canyon, which seems to be growing in popularity--maybe someone has been writing about it on the internet recently... JKW chose an easy hike to the camping area, while the rest of us headed up towards the Sugarbowl grove.

The last time we had seen an old trail along the high point of Redwood Mountain just north of Sugarbowl. I followed it for a bit--it was clearly the former route of the present trail, and offers better views to the west than the present routing. It's not clear why it was abandoned.

As had happened with OD not long ago, JKW was at "camp" as we dropped from the Sugarbowl area.

JKW waving, just right of center.

There was a bit more water flowing in the small streams than the last time, but also much less snow.

Ladybugs attacked my radio while we ate lunch near Redwood Creek.

It seems that every time we go by a certain fallen tree someone has to climb on it; this time was no exception.

We had our second lunch at the campsite, where it was downright warm.

All in all, a great day hiking around great trees.

The next day we did a short hike from the Sherman Tree to Crescent Meadow, looping around Circle Meadow to the east. Some of it was familiar, some was not.

We met up with JKW at Crescent Meadow and had lunch on a warm, dry picnic bench with the sounds of frogs nearby. Years ago we had to remove a foot of snow from it to make some hot tea while it snowed on us... Maybe next year we'll be thinking back fondly of the spring-like winters from '14 and '15...

More Pictures
Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 01, 2015 07:47PM
Nice report--thanks for posting it. (Loved the photo of the little girl and her meme dress...!)

The first time my now wife and I ever camped together was in Grant's Grove over Memorial Day weekend--back in about 1975. And there was enough snow on the ground that we were able to chill our wine right at the campsite. I wish we had that kind of snow this year....

Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 01, 2015 10:33PM
I'd screwed up my ankle a bit at home a day before our trip! Peachy... But, nothing beats slow peaceful walks amongst the big trees, so it was a fine trip for me.

Redwood Canyon, especially, has grown on me... I'd missed that little section on our backpacking trip with Chick-On, OD and Catalonian Burro... So I relished my time moseying along the trail and resting on the granite. I tried to take a nap, but a couple of flies were really going at it... For thirty minutes! And a bee-like bug would buzz me every so often. It was nothing like winter...but it was still beautiful and peaceful.

I also liked getting an early shower and nap in a couple of days.. Quite decadent!
avatar Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 02, 2015 09:47AM
I'd screwed up my ankle a bit at home a day before our trip!

What's the big idea? You too needz to quit hiking in the city!

It looks like Yea Old Stick N Fedders got a new pal. smiling smiley

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 03, 2015 11:20AM
Yah, I was totally mindless at home.. And I find it easy to be mindful in the mountains... Tells you where I should be...

And isn't she cute? Fell in love with her stubby little wing. Someone suggested Littlewing as her name. Think it suits her.
avatar Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 02, 2015 11:59AM
Redwood Canyon, especially, has grown on me...

It is very nice. Was there once when all the termites were swarming. They were everywhere.
Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 03, 2015 11:15AM
Ok... When was that...? I think I'd be ok missing that!
avatar Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 03, 2015 03:51PM
Ok... When was that...? I think I'd be ok missing that!

A couple of decades ago at least. But I do remember it being in May.
Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 02, 2015 10:45AM
I've been to Sequoia NP one time, but not as a hiker. Trying to
describe the place with words is useless.

In front of the General Sherman was a plaque that gave the tree's
stats. Height, size, age...(I wonder how often they update those
numbers?) Driving home from California, I calculated that there
was enough wood in that one tree to make a 2x4 that would
reach from the tree to my home in Nebraska, with something
like 180 miles left over.

May the General live for ever.
avatar Re: All the Presidents' Trees
March 03, 2015 02:42AM
That dress is obviously blue and gold.
tongue sticking out smiley

Chick-on is looking at you!
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