I’ve always had a thing for trees. I don’t favor any one type over another. They just have a way of gripping me in causing double takes, pointing of fingers, and verbal reactions like “coooooool”. My dad has always pointed out unique looking ones. He used to do back in middle school while driving me to weekend soccer games and he still does it now when ever we’re traveling together. I don’t know if he’s never noticed that he does this; It’s such a small idiosyncrasy. But I’ve noticed and I picked up the habit. I couldn’t stop thinking of him when we visited the giant sequoias in Yosemite.
My dad would love it there.
Which is why I’ve resolved to take him when the park reopens in the Spring of 2017. The area of Mariposa Grove in Yosemite closed for a restoration project on the 6th of July, but we made it just in time.
These giant trees are complex characters with a rich history and scars to prove it. I mean, the oldest known living sequoia is 3,500 years old! He’s probably seen and lived through more than we could every possible know. The Yosemite Conservancy is heading up the restoration project in order to improve the quality of life for these trees. As they should! They are magnificent creatures – the sheer beauty of them is one thing, but their strength and overwhelming size is another. Can you imagine the reaction of the person who first discovered them?
Since the oldest, most famous sequoias in Mariposa Grove were given nicknames (hey Grizzly, sup Faithful Couple) it feels as though you’re rummaging the forest to meet ancient, wise folk who will teach you some important life lessons. And they will. Just make sure to read their backstories and take some notes.
Yosemite National Park
P.S. There are two smaller and less visited groves in Yosemite where you can see the sequoias: the Tuolumne and Merced Groves near Crane Flat.