Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Congress Trail

Within the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park are numerous trails that meander through the big trees. One of those trails leads to one of the main attractions of Sequoia National Park.

It isn't the oldest. It isn't the widest. It isn't the tallest. But a sign proclaims that because of the overall volume of its trunk, the General Sherman Tree is the biggest tree on earth. At its base it measures 103 feet in circumference. It is 275 feet tall. It is approximately 2200 years old. That is one big, old tree! Standing beneath it, gazing up at the high branches, it is difficult to take it all in. And a tiny photograph can't convey how big it really is. It is, quite simply, huge! Almost overwhelming, actually. The people standing beneath the behemoth are dwarfed by its size.

This shows the base of The General Sherman Tree and possibly 25 feet of its height. The lady standing to the left by the fence was about 5'5” tall.

The trail to the General Sherman tree continues on as the two-mile loop Congress Trail. Sequoia trees are very shallow rooted and do occasionally topple. The amazing thing to me about this fallen giant is that a small tree has taken root and is growing on the roots of the dead tree. The little one is perhaps four feet tall. I wonder how long it will survive?

Another glorious Giant, reaching for the sun... towering over all beneath it.

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