. This tree is as tall as a 27-story building. It is wider at the base than a three lane highway and weighs more than 700 large cars. The wood from these trees is very soft and weak but if it where strong enough for construction more than 40 average-sized 5-room houses could be built from it. We hiked to the Centennial Stump. In 1876 the tree was cut down for the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia. It took 2 men 9 days to cut down this tree. The tree was so big that it was split to be transported across country. The people in the east laughed saying these tall trees were a hoax. I was so sad to think this 1800 year old tree was cut down. We then past the Fallen Monarch which supposedly toppled centuries ago. The tree was completely hollow all the way through and until recently the path went directly long way through the tree.The tree was probably hollowed by fire long before it fell and died. The tree did not shatter as most sequoias do when they fall instead it fell in a deep cushion of snow and fell intact. The Fallen Monarch served as a hotel, saloon and the US Calvary used it to temporarily stable their 32 horses. We climbed some huge boulders and had a snack taking in this magnificent grove of Sequoias. We took another 3 mile wonderful hike to the North Grove and saw many incredibily awesome Sequoia trees. We were the only ones on the trail it was like the forest was ours. While having dinner we read about the Sequoia trees, one of the interesting facts about these trees is the ONLY way they can die is by falling over! They are resistant to fire, disease and insects, all the things that kill other trees. We then started our travel through the Sequoia National Park. It was starting to get dark and the road was extremely curvy. Kevin loved driving these roads they reminded us of the roads we drove in the Alps with MANY hairpin turns. I am sure the views were incredible and we will find out tomorrow when we go back in the daylight. While driving down and turning the corners we would catch glimpses of the giant sequoia trees right next to the road. We have several fantastic hikes planned for tomorrow. On the drive were we only met 2 other cars, we saw two foxes, a bobcat and most exciting we rounded a corner and in the middle of the road was a momma black bear and her cub. Unfortunately it was too dark and we could not get any pics, besides we were both so excited and very glad we were in the car. We both think these Sequoia trees are so magnificent and we never tire of looking at them in awe. We will be sending some pics of us next to the trees to give you some perspective of their size. The pictures cannot show the magnitude of these giants. Enjoy!
What a great day! We left Yosemite for our drive to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We drove through Fresno and it was a wonderful city of around 500,000. There were orange groves as far as you could see. We saw some grapes vineyards and lemon groves as well. There was a huge semi truck loaded with oranges driving in front of us. The semi hit some bumps and took some turns when oranges fell from the truck. We were hoping to get some free oranges from the deal but they were orange juice by the time they hit the pavement. We did stop at a strawberry stand and got some fresh California strawberries and they were so sweet. We drove the two lane highway up to Kings Canyon and it was so beautiful. We were at around 7000 ft and the weather turned cooler. We started our hike at the General Grant Tree Trail. Just pulling into the parking lot and seeing these majestic trees was amazing. Most of the trees are named after states or presidents. The General Grant Tree is the world's third-largest living thing and has the greatest base diameter of any sequoia at 40.3 ft