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Dave and Jan's travels, day 140:
Giant Sequoia National Park

6th October
The biggest trees in the world. And, ignoring the rather dismal claims of a strange Montanan fungus, the biggest living things in the world. I won't bore you with the endless comparisons we've been offered, but how about 1 tree = 11 blue whales? These are seriously large plants.

How is it to visit these trees? It's wonderful. I've just re-read what we wrote about Redwood National Park, and the same sentiments apply here. So go read that (aren't hyperlinks convenient?). There's a sense of timelessness, somehow you just know that these trees have been around a lot longer than humans, and it makes me feel a kind of comfortable, heavy-limbed peace just to be amongst the trees.

By the way, don't be too alarmed about any stories you might have heard about the trees dying out. They're rather like so many of the animals around here, in that they're basically indestructible unless there's a saw in the vicinity. Given the now more or less complete banning on chopping them down, I think there's every chance that they'll comfortably outlive the human race.

Even the groves where the giants were lumbered last century are surprisingly undepressing. In many cases the trees are still there - it turns out that when you drop 1,300 tons or so of wood from a couple of hundred feet it tends to shatter (!). They haven't decayed much in the ensuing time, but lots of new trees around and the general forest air of continual rebirth makes it seem somehow alright. You can't help thinking that if we really wanted to "restore" these forests, we'd just lock the gate, throw away the key, and wait for a millenium or two.


   (click thumbnails for a larger picture)

Big trees, ....

...small people

The forest

A baby