Monday, June 23, 2014

Sequoia Promenade

We had a second chance at Yosemite.  When we rose early again on Friday, we discovered we were leaving at the same time as the eight bikers on the four shiney Harleys parked in the adjoining rooms.  Peter had struck up a conversation with them the previous evening.  They were four couples from Pittsburg who had rented bikes in San Francisco and were traveling around California.  
We had decided to stop at Mariposa Grove to see the giant Sequoias in the park.  It took us about a half hour to get to the grove where we parked and started walking.  The paths were wide, and the fellow walkers were relaxed and friendly.  We met an Italian couple on their honeymoon and our eight biker friends who were happy to see us. 
The Sequoias are just as impressive as the Redwoods but in different ways.  The Redwoods are taller and relatively slimmer.  The Sequoias don't get much taller than 200 feet.  The old ones have more rounded tops and the heavy limbs branch out more.  Scientists have learned that it is good for these trees to experience fire.  Their thick bark withstands the heat and young trees grow better in the land opened by controlled burning.
We saw some famous trees:  the Bachelor and Three Graces, the Great Grizzly and the California Tunnel Tree.
As we followed the trail back to the parking lot, we walked past a herd of small deer who were undisturbed by our presence and came very close.  
We were soon the only ones on the path to enjoy the calm majesty of these ancient trees.

We drove north, back through the Tunnel, but we didn't stop for more pictures.  We headed west along the Merced River and were soon out of Yosemite. Peter wanted one last chance to cast his fishing rod in the Merced Riiver, so we looked for a good picnic spot along the river bank.  We found one with access to the water and some shade, so we ate and read while Peter waded into the icy stream to fish.  He didn't catch anything, but enjoyed the practice as he improved his technique.

We left the river at about two and headed straight to Danville, where we were staying with Ron and Martha Kuhlmann.  They were going out for the evening, so we made ourselves at home and got to bed early.  Friday we were planning to show Kate a bit of the city.

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