Sequoia NP, 2017
Well, yup, time for a confession in that I really regretted not being able to get up to Sequoia with my friend and his family. I love the big trees and hated that meetings at work made me miss that chance. But he told me of the big league snow there and that all the reports were true. Another great friend of mine had recently got a Jeep with an offroad package and on Friday asked if we could hang out for the weekend. I replied with a crazy idea of snowshoeing in the Sequoias, and damn this enabler he was up for an adventure!
We ditched my Camaro at a lower elevation and had a great Saturday. At the bottom it was nice and sunny, but just entering the Giant Forest the snow started to cover the road. We stopped off at Wolverton and just went out trying to find our way to the Giant Forest, but we didn't make it. It led to amazing snowshoe hikes in this goregous forest all alone with ridiculous silence all around and gorgeous firs, pines, creeks and meadows. That evening, after a nice meal at the lodge, we went out for a night "hike" on the roads. The height of the snow was amazing! The top was at least nine feet above our heads and looked to be dug out by hand. The moon was out and made great shadows on the walls, it was like I was adventuring like a kid again with each corner. Sang the flashlight song as I was so happy to be with my flashlight!
While sleeping the snow came in and there we were, in Sequoia NP in a big snowstorm. It was amazing! We started snowshoeing on a trail right from the lodge. Two other people in boots joined us and we had a fun time not only trying to find the trail markers but also enjoying that literally we were alone but yet, enjoyed having similar company. As the late morning progressed the wind started picking up and making the snow fall from the firs. A couple times they hit me smack in the head, snow smoke bombs from above exploding into a poof of white that took much time to settle down! At some points on our trek we heard loud sounds that we still don't know if they were snow thunder or a faraway avalance, but just stunning to hear the power of the snow, the weather, and the mountains.
On our way out we stopped at the General Sherman tree and walked around. I love these trees, and I love them in winter. And now I could visit them in a storm. The wind was blowing so hard that for the shorter younger ones, they were swaying back and forth like they were waving hello. The old ones didn't speak, but the young ones certainly did. I've never seen the sequoias move quite like that. It got quite cold and, with wet socks, we needed to leave. This was my first time being a passenger through the drive through the Giant Forest, and it was great to ogle out the windows at all these gorgeous trees, their red bark emblazoned on a white canopy, braving the rough weather and standing proud and strong.
The entire experience, being with a great friend amongst the stunning beauty of the Sierras in winter, seeing the great trees wave to me, the sound of falling snow on my hat and the silence of nowhere...it's thrilling, rejuvanating and makes me remember how thankful I am to just be alive.
Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 lens. Couldn't change lenses due to snow. Frustrating at times for sure!
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