Kings Canyon National Park

The final stop on our grand road trip was a whirlwind tour through the parts of Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park that we could get to by car. These national parks contain four of the five largest living things on earth, the giant sequoias. We made a stop off at the General Grant tree as well as the General Sherman tree in the Giant Forest. The land was gorgeous, and one day I know I'll have to return and hike up into the mountains and see valleys that no one else has seen.

The day I was in this park was Sept. 11, 2001. I remember looking at the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on the planet, and being disguisted at the people who felt their need to carve their initials into the tree, the human blight. The other striking memory I have was a comment from Ryan. While reading about the qualities of the trees that make them so hardy that they only die by falling over, I remember Ryan saying that he wondered if they would be some of the few things to survive a nuclear holocaust. Ironic. Thankfully, though, we were able to enjoy the day and the gorgeous drive out of the mountains in peace, but with one of the most surreal homecomings imaginable.

The Photographs

My favorite photographs from this series are: