Friday I drove back down to an area I had visited earlier in the week to get pictures I didn’t feel I had time to stop and take on that occasion. Along the way I saw this sign outside a Ranger Station as I entered the Sequoia National Forest and stopped to ask what it meant:
I had a nice long conversation with a man named Gabriel, who works there. He explained that it is a restriction on the use of chainsaws. In hot, dry conditions like the area is currently experiencing, the use of chainsaws is prohibited due to the additional air pollution it would cause. Worse conditions could lead to even more restrictions on other activities and use of machinery.
Gabriel told me about the Pier Fire which occurred last year in the area I was about to revisit, and we talked about a wide range of topics including his history with the Forest Service and other organizations leading up to his current job.
I also had a chance to buy this spiffy Smokey the Bear hat:
Saturday is a travel day as I say goodbye to my EXCELLENT Airbnb hosts Chris and Nicole in Visalia and head north to my next stop in Sonora, California, where I will be spending the next 7 nights. I will drive many of the scenic roads up that way today and tomorrow and will probably wait until Monday to start spending time in Yosemite National Park, which evidently has LOTS of spectacular scenery to offer from the road.