15 July 2006 Saturday

Our papers came in yesterday, but we realized sending them now they will not be processed until Monday anyway.  So we went into King’s Canyon /Sequoia National Park and we’ll deal with the papers Monday, when we are back in civilization.  

We began in King’s Canyon in the General Grant Grove.  It seems when this park was first established in the 1800’s, it was common to “name” trees, especially the giant sequoias.  So we hiked 1 1/2 miles around the North Grove and then a .3 mile hike thru the Grant Grove.  We saw huge trees named Tennessee, Oregon, Robert E. Lee (the Civil War was still current events when these trees were named).  

We caught a ranger lead talk thru this area after our hike.  We were able to ask a few questions: “The large pine cones we’ve seen are not from sequoias?”  No, they are Sugar Pine cones, also growing in the same area.  “The cabin built in the middle of the sequoia grove, this wood is different from the wood type you passed around as sequoia wood?”  The cabin was also made from sugar pines.  Sequoia wood is very light, like balsa wood.  

And the giant trees could not be felled easily, they tended to shatter when they hit the ground.  Sequoias, therefore, were used in the 1800’s and early 1900’s for roof shingles, pencils and toothpicks!  Too much cost in labor felling these majestic giants actually saved them.  They were not cost effective!  (We learned the same with happened to Joshua trees).   

We finished our tour of King’s Canyon and went to find a campsite for the night.  There is plenty of public land, either BLM or National Forest, between King’s Canyon and Sequoia, so we found a spot to call home for the night.  The flies are quite annoying, but they should go away after dark.  

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