- So, who knew Obama’s visit to Bakersfield would affect us? After breakfast, we took the shuttle bus from our hotel to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We were the only passengers. About half way up, the bus broke down. Apparently all the good Yosemite buses were sent to Bakersfield for the Obama people and Yosemite was left with the dregs. No problem – go Obama! The driver somehow resolved the hybrid’s computer problem and we were back on our way.
- We arrived at the Mariposa Grove and had a view of a few of the huge sequoias from the bus. We hiked through the grove and saw even more spectacular trees. Glenda’s personal favorite was the California Tunnel Tree and Sue’s was the Grizzly Giant Tree.
- Here are some tree stats:
– some of the trees are close to 2,000 years old
– they can grow as high as 300 feet – taller than the Statue of Liberty
– the biggest (e.g., the Grizzly) can be 96 feet in circumference; the diameter of a branch of the Grizzly is 7 feet – bigger than all of the non-sequoias in the grove
– the California Tunnel was cut in 1895 as a tourist attraction and it’s still a draw here today. There won’t be any more tunnel trees cut because of current conservation philosophy.
- We are now pseudo-experts in pine tree bark and cones. Here is a pine cone still life – enjoy!
- The giant sequoia produces the smallest pine cone – who knew?
- For an afternoon hike, we decided to explore the Wawona Meadow. What poor signage Yosemite people! We were launched up a steep road incline for miles – only to turn around and go back to square one and find the Meadow road, soft and flat, was on our left. We managed to go half way on this path for some wildlife sightings: blue birds, mule deer, yellow-bellied marmots – but no bears or bob cats.
So much of this Yosemite reminds us of Jersey (ha ha). From the granite mountains (think “the Rock”), great big lakes (think Hopatcong), to the giant pines (think Pine Barrens). You get it. But especially those giant Sequoias — we have them on the GSP — we call them cell towers.