Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Last Sunday, my first full day in this area, I decided to forego returning to Yosemite National Park because it was so crazy the day before (the 3rd Saturday in June) and instead drove on two of the beautiful scenic roads north of where I am staying in Sonora.  There are actually three such roads, Routes 88, 4 and 108, each about 80 miles in length.  I would drive all three at least twice during the coming week, and will post pictures of some of the beautiful things I saw in subsequent posts.

This post focuses on one destination which is located along Route 4, just north of the little town of Arnold, California.  Although I had just been to see some Giant Sequoias a week ago when I was staying in Visalia, this Park was still impressive.

This is what’s left of the Discovery Tree, a Giant Sequoia which fell in 1853 – and took 3 weeks to cut up and remove (with the technology available at that time).  The cut surface, where the man is standing, is so big it once served as a dance floor!

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Here is a portion of the trunk.  If you look closely you’ll see a young child on the far right.

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And believe it or not, this is all the bigger a cone of a Giant Sequoia is:

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According to the information in the Visitor Center, these cones only grow to be 1.5 to 3 inches in length.  Unlike most pine cones, these are “closed” and require intense heat from a fire to open and release the seeds inside.

On the other hand (actually still in my left hand but you know what I mean – Eric) this is the cone of a Sugar Pine which can grow to 22 inches in length:

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