A land of giant trees!

Trip Start Mar 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17 - by Madison

Today we went to Kings Canyon National Park. To get there we had to drive 1 hour up and down hills.  I didn't really like the drive because my ears were popping and it was sort of boring.  When we got to Kings Canyon we went to the visitor center to get our junior ranger book and get some information on the park. While we were at the visitor center I learned that this park was made to protect the Sequoia Trees.  They made the national park just around the trees but a week later congress decided to make the whole canyon area a national park.  We were wondering why there were 2 national parks so close to each other,  with 2 different names. We learned that when they first made the national parks, they were in 2 different areas in California, so they had two different names.  When Congress made the surrounding area a national park, the park rangers couldn’t give up a name so they go by both names. However, the two parks only count as one when you count all of the US national parks.   I also learned that there is a tree here that is the 3d tallest living item in the world.  After we left the visitor center we went to the campground to make dinner and work on our junior ranger books.  While we were working on our books I learned that the Giant Sequoias depends on fire, and if they don’t have it they will die.   After we finished our junior ranger book we ate dinner.  Then we went outside and had a fire because Emma an Katelyn collected fire wood earlier.  After the fire we went inside and went to bed.  Tomorrow we are going to go on a couple of hikes, and one is going to be to the 3rd largest in the world.  I hope that we have a fun day tomorrow.

May 18 - by Madison

Today we went on a hike to the 3rd largest living  'thing’ in the world.  This morning when we woke up in Kings Canyon National Park it was 40  degrees outside, and tomorrow we are going to be in Death Valley where it is 120 degrees!   When we got to the trail head we first saw a tunnel tree.  I liked this tree because you can walk through the whole tree, which fell down in the 1800’s.  Then we hiked the rest of the way to the giant tree.  When we got there I learned that this tree is called General Grant Tree.  I also learned that this tree is 27 stories high and weighs as much as much as 700 trucks!  What I thought was really amazing was that if this tree were to be cut down it could make 40 houses that have 5 average sized rooms!  I didn’t know how this could be possible because the tree didn’t look that big as I expected, and certainly not like the 3rd largest living thing. I also learned that the largest living thing is in Sequoia National Park just south of us.  This tree is 25-30 % bigger than the tree that we are looking at right now. I really liked this tree because I thought that it was amazing that this tree could stand upright because it had a huge fire hole in the middle of it.   After we saw this tree we went to the visitor center to get our junior badges.  When we got there, the rangers asked us if they could take a picture of us because this is the most badges they have ever seen on anybody  This is the first time a ranger asked us this question.   While they were checking our books I learned that the 2nd largest living thing in the world was here in Kings Canyon, but it was burned down in a man-made fire a couple years ago.  I thought that this was interesting because if this was the 2nd largest thing in the world, wouldn’t they be more careful around it?  After we were done getting our badges we went on a 3 hour drive to a place near Death Valley.  Once we got here we went to the pool to go swimming.  After this we went to bed.  I had a fun day especially seeing the third largest living thing in the world. 
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Grammy on

What beautiful country u r seeing! Still hoping to get pop pop to take a trip out that way sometime! Picked strawberries this weekend and blueberries will be available in 2 weeks--yum! Ryan spent a few nghts here this weekend and he & poppop had a couple of good buke rides. He;s really looking forward to his trip West. Thanks for all the postcards!

Mrs. Suzanne Weltz on

Hi McGovern Family! I'm just getting caught up on your latest travels! I love all your pictures, they make me feel like I am with you! I am very impressed by your badges from all the parks!! Keep up the entries and the fun! Miss you all~ Mrs. Weltz

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