This weekend during my trip up to Groveland I visited Tuolumne Grove along with the friends that I stayed with.
Here we have a mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). This buck just sat there chewing its cud while I snapped away from a nearby fence. Up in Groveland you will see deer all over the place. You have to be very careful while driving through the area.
Tuolumne Grove is the home of about 25 mature Sequoiadendron giganteum or giant sequoia. The tallest trees in the grove were over 200 feet tall and over 2000 years old. I could not find a vantage point where I could take a picture of a complete tree, unless it was standing right underneath and pointing skyward. However, I did the best I could by taking two pictures. One of the base and one of the crown.Here we see the base of a tree. The base of this tree is absolutely massive. This one is probably more than 20 feet in diameter. So, where is the rest of the tree? Here we have the top of the tree. Maybe I should have posted the pictures in reverse order. OK, I did a little experimenting and decided to post the first picture again. They don’t exactly match up, so I left the text between the two pictures :-). You get the idea. These trees are massive!
We had to walk more than a mile down a trail to see the trees, but it was well worth the walk. All the way down the trail I was thinking of the walk back. The further we went down, the more I knew that the way back was going to be a tough hike. We took it easy and made a lot of stops on the way back to enjoy the beautiful day and also admire the many other types of trees in the grove such as the mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) and the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana). The sugar pine is also a very tall tree and many of them in the grove were about as tall as the giant sequoias, but were not as massive.
When we were near the base of the trail we visited the Dead Giant.The Dead Giant was the very first giant sequoia to have a tunnel cut into it. The tunnel was cut in the early 1870’s when the tree was already dead. I can just imagine the many stagecoaches that made their way through the tunnel. We walked through the tunnel and felt dwarfed by the sheer size of just the base of the tree.
After making our way back to the top of the trail we drove out to Yosemite Overlook to see the view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley.
We then made our way back to Groveland for a well earned feast. We definitely got our exercise for the day.