November 3, 2011

Yosemite: Mariposa Grove.

The first day in Yosemite we went to Mariposa Grove.  Or, better known as the grove of Giant Sequoias!  I have to say, for pretty much everything in Yosemite, pictures just don't do it justice.  Everything is just so big, and awe-inspiring, the camera can't capture it.  Even the "normal" pine trees are really tall.  Basically, if you want to get just how awesome it is, you have to go see it in person!

My attempt at capturing the enormity of the tree!
And funny thing, I thought I would remember all the names of the trees in the lower grove!
I don't!  :)

That tree straight back is the Grizzly Giant.
See the big branch that shoots off to the right?
As big as a normal pine tree.
A tree on a tree.
The Grizzly up close. 

Inside the California tree.
Again, California tree--farther away.
There aren't any trees in this grove that you can drive through.
For that, you have to go south to the Sierra National Forest.
Liz with a giant pinecone--not a Sequoia cone, those are surprisingly small.

After this point, we split up--Ken took Liz and Nick back down the trail.
Nathan, Jacob, Patrick and I (with Pete) forged ahead.
We went an additional 1.2 mi up the mountain (it was steep!) to get to the
Upper Grove and the ultimate goal of the Fallen Tunnel tree. 
Inside a Sequoia along the way. 

Upper Grove.
It is hard to tell the magnitude.
If you look close, you can see "normal" trees dwarfed by the big ones.
They look like baby trees!
The Fallen Tunnel tree.
Elevation 6600ft.
Apparently, this is a historic tree. It was made into a tunnel tree in the 1800s to attract tourists.
There are pictures of Stagecoaches driving through it!
I think it fell sometime in the 70s?
My boys were very disappointed! We all thought that the tunnel would still be partially intact, but no.
They were so tired after this point that they wouldn't go the extra half mile to the scenic overlook.
Paved, mind you!
(And, I'm told the view was magnificent--but I didn't see it!)
So, we hurried back down as fast as we could to meet up with the others.
It *only* took us 45 minutes to get back down.

Totally worth it!

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