Monday, December 27, 2010

On the Road to the Giants - California

As part of the Civil Construction Crew Project of building the General Sherman Highway in 1938, they dug beneath this rock to create this "tunnel" along the historic highway.  This was one of the first stops that Mayci and I made along our first day within the Sequoia National Park.  The view on the right was taken from on top of the 'tunnel' looking down, which gives the sense of a dead end.

Straight shot at a windy road through the "little trees" of this park.  Before entering into the Sequoia National Park, we passed the Pumpkin Hollow bridge which spans over the Kaweah River (pictured on the right).   Built in 1922 as part of a Park Improvement Project to allow visitors then and now to travel with ease along their way to the Giants of the Forest.  I do not know exactly what it was about this bridge, but I felt attached to it in some way, whether it be its arches or it's rustic appearance.

From Visalia to Lemon Cove, there is nothing but endless orchards of oranges, lemons, and olives!  I always slow down with the windows down just to take in the aroma for the fruits at various stages of growth from blossom to ripe fruit.  

Along the Middle Fork Kaweah River Trail from the Buckeye Flat, we were accompanied by deer numerous times, and moments like this the took a little interest in to our presence, then quickly ignored us!  So much for 'wild' life here in California!

Fog in the Marble Fork.  

The Giant Forest - Sequoia National Forest, California

Sequoiadendron giganteum

Known as the Giant Sequoia, or the Redwoods, are found naturally on the slopes of the Sierra Mountains in California only.

The Largest of them All - the General Sherman holds the 1st rank in the World at around 275 feet tall, spanning a diameter of 36 feet, with a circumference of about 100 feet at the base, and weighing in at about 2,100 tons!  Believed to be anywhere from 2,300 to 2,700 years old, this beast  has left a mark on my memory forever, just like the snowball fight I had with Mayci!

The Entrance into the Giant Forest.

As we drove through the mist on our drive upward, we were welcomed by these wonders that had divided the road in front of us. - >

< - On the Road to the Sequoias, literally.

The Sierras - Sequoia National Forest, California


In the Shadows of the Sequoias - Eastern California

I was quite pleased what my little point-and-shoot Kodak camera did with this series of shots!  I don't think I would have wanted to visit the Sequoias at any other time of the year than at Christmas time!  The drive through central California, the orange trees are bursting with new blossoms while the mountains are filled with new, fluffy snow.  Being that snow had recently made it's way down to earth, it was still stuck to everything which undoubtedly made this a winter wonderland!   

Friday, December 24, 2010

Senses from the Sequoias - California

Shining in at first light as Mayci and I made our way along the Buckeye Trail in  the Sequoia National Park, this leaf caught my eye with the emerald green  moss nestling it on a crisp morning along with these fern-like plant lining the paths of the forest.

As one enters the Giant Forest in the Sequoia Forest, all tree-goers are welcomed by these towers as the road splits between them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Colors - Stockton, California


Spending Thanksgiving holiday nestled in the Central Valley of California in Stockton made for a great time to explore! Before heading back to Monterey, we made a quick stop by University of the Pacific and toured around for awhile to stretch our legs prior to making the 3 hour drive back.  With the leaves changing their verdant to amber and gold with the architecture of this campus, I felt as if we were in a New England state rather than the West Coast California, granted we were a good distance from the 'stereotype' of the Republic of sunshine and beaches.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Grand Yosemite - Eastern California

El Capitan - just your everyday 3,000 foot granite monolith. One of the first sites seen as you approach the main valley of Yosemite, and the first to leave an impression!  Often a destination for climbers, this may be my next stop on my return trip to Yosemite.
Upon first entering the Park for our three day adventure over the Veteran's Day weekend this Fall, we were welcomed into the Valley by this interesting entrance into the heart of the park.

Sites that can be taken in from the village center are the North Dome and this stone bridge that I am guessing was a product from the Roosevelt's New Deal and CCC.

With the last hours of the dwindling down into dusk of the first day of the hike, I caught a good glimpse of one of the more notable peaks of Yosemite:  Half Dome.

 Looking east to these snow covered domes as we came down from the Half Basket Dome in the third day of our hike.

Life under the Big Trees - Yosemite, California

The Feel of Yosemite - California

From this, I hope to bring the sensation that I felt as I went through this majestic place.

As I approached the snow capped summits, life was still striving down in the lower valley down below.

Worn by the sands and winds of time...

Crystal clear water from the season's first snow in the first morning light.