On Thursday morning we checked out and drove out of Yosemite Valley south towards the Mariposa grove with the Sequoia trees. I have to say that I think this was the most spectacular part of Yosemite for me. Half Dome, North Dome and El Capitan are amazing, but to see a living tree that can live to 3,000 years old was just incredible. I’ve inserted a map of the southern part of Yosemite and the red pushpin is where the sequoias are.
Here are some of the trees right at the entrance:
Just beyond the entrance is a tree named The Monarch. The roots of a sequoia are very small and not very deep, considering the size of some of these things. I also learned that the sequoia contains lots of tannin, which helps protect them against insects and fires. It also acts as a preservative, so they take a very long time to decay.
Here is the Monarch:
On our way into see the tree named Grizzly Giant, we saw two deer. They seem pretty used to having people fairly close. We also saw some bucks in Yosemite valley as well as a wolf on the way south (unfortunately we did not get a picture!).
On the walk to Ol Grizzly there are many trees that have fallen and if they fall over the trail, they are cut in half. These must have been tiny trees compared to the monster we were about to see:
There is no way to describe seeing Grizzly Giant. It is 1,800 years old. It is about 100 feet around at the base with a diameter of between 29 and 31 feet and 209 feet tall. It used to be taller but it is frequently the target of lightning.
It is hard to believe it is that massive.
Further along is the Bachelor and the Three Graces:
And a walk-through sequoia:
We continued on until we got to the Clothespin Sequoia, which is still living:
Here are just a few more shots of these amazing trees:
After this we jumped in the car and drove south and then west through Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. It smelled so good going through there–almost like garlic bread! We then went north and picked up Doug in Mountain View at the Microsoft office and had dinner there. We were home by 8:30pm.