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Sequoia National Park
June 15 2009

One of the neatest places to ever visit is Sequoia National Park. There seems to be so much life in those giant trees. They are not the same as the coastal redwood tree. They are a cousin to the redwood tree. They are bigger around, and not quite as tall, but the life in them is contagious. You can feel it as you stroll down one of the many paths. I had the pleasure of working in Seq. for several summers for the local concessionaire. Those were the days. They were filled with fun, and virtually no stress. If I could I would live there happily ever after. One of the best ways to have fun after you have had a long day of hiking is to just sit on the ground or on a fence post near one of the local sites. As you sit there, the comments you hear from guest can be quite amusing. Here are some of those comments.

Excuse me, you look so comfortable. Do you work here and can you tell me something?

Sure, I work here, and maybe I can help you, what is it you need.

Well, I was wondering, these trees feel so real, so alive, and I know this may sound stupid, but, don't they get cold in the winter? There is a lot of snow up here, and wow, I don't know, it just seems like they would get cold.

I pondered on how to answer this as a couple of other employees sat by trying very hard not to snicker. IN fact, I myself was trying not to laugh. But, with as straight a face as possible, I informed the lady that this particular type of tree was put in that particular area because of it's abilities to handle the weather, the snow and for whatever reasons they were there. That no, they couldn't be taken down, and no they didn't require smudge pots or blankets to keep them warm. She had also made the suggestion that perhaps wrapping them in blankets might help.

Another great question was:

Do we have to go back down the same way we came up? Well, it depends. You can come up the road from Visalia and continue on around to Kings Canyon on the other end and go back down through Fresno. The road up from Visalia did at one time have well over 100 switchbacks. However, there are switchbacks on any mountain road. That is just the way it is. So, in actuality, if you are not going to go over to Kings canyon, then yeah you have to go back down the way you came up. But, thank you for coming. Just watching you peel yourself from the seat is quite entertaining.

Oh and just for your information, NO the trees are not taken down in the winter and put back up in the spring. They stand there until they fall over. They are not inflatable, they are real.

I am very sorry, but you can not watch the bears mate. To do so, would be extremely dangerous, as would trying to watch a bear give birth, or to approach a mother bear with cubs. The American Black Bear is generally just as afraid of you as you are of it. However, think of it like this. Would you want someone to watch you doing this stuff? Bears digestive system are geared differently from yours. They might eat whatever they find, however, generally speaking, they stick to nuts, berries, leaves and twigs, etc. It probably gives them a tummy ache to eat bologna and chips and candy bars, just like it would you if you were allergic to something. SO DON'T try to feed them. Just enjoy looking at them. Give them the right away. Don't go down on all fours, or try to play dead. That is putting yourself in danger. Just gently back away from them if you happen to run across one on the path. Backing away tells them that you do not want to intrude on their territory. That is their home, not yours. If you turn and run, they might try to run you down. They would probably succeed. They are faster than you. Drop the backpack, if they are chasing you. It will stop them to investigate it and give you a chance to get away.

These are just a few of the things that you can have fun doing while in Seq, and may keep you safer. It is definitely a trip worth making. More later on Sequoia.
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  "Funny and informative." - Stan, June 15 2009 - reply

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