Wednesday, July 3, 2013

General Sherman, Crystal Cave, and Moro Rock

Fred and I had to wake up early in order to get a decent time to see Crystal Cave.  Crystal Cave tickets are purchased at Lodgepole Visitors Center.  Getting there by 8 paid off, we got the first tour available (10:30).  It takes 40 minutes to get to the cave and you are required to be at the parking lot 30 minutes earlier than your tour for the half mile walk to the cave entrance.  We had just enough time to visit with General Sherman.

General Sherman tree is the largest organism in the world.  It is over 2,000 years old, 180 feet tall, and 37 feet wide at the base.  
2,000 years may seem really old but there are trees in the Giant Forest (named by John Muir) that are 1,000 years older.  

Crystal Cave is over a million years old.  It takes thousands of years for formations such as these to form as carbonic acid (water and carbon dioxide) dissolves the marble rock that makes up the mountain.  Calcite is one of the ingredients in the rock and as water moves through it picks up the calcite and deposits it below the marble.  

Columns are formed as stalactites (ceiling formations) unite with a stalagmites (floor formations).  

This formation is over 21,000 years old and according to our guide Chris, looks like Jabba the Hutt.

This waterfall is right outside the cave entrance.  It was the CCC who "discovered" it in 1918.  (I have to put the word 'discovered' in quotes because there are Native Americans artifacts inside.)  
Two CCC workers wanted to fish and so they followed the stream downhill in hopes of finding a fishing pond.  When they got past the waterfall they felt a cold breeze and upon investigation found Crystal Cave.  (The cave is consistently 48 degrees Fahrenheit.)

After the 45 minute tour we climbed up Moro Rock.  The trail is 1/3 mile long and at the top there is a 360 degree view of the Central Valley to the west, and the Great Western Divide to the east.

This is half of the view (I didn't want people in the picture).

The first log our Subaru has driven through.  The 275 foot Tunnel Log fell in 1937.  

Giant Sequoias are incredible.  Pictures cannot capture their enormity or their beauty.  
They are humbling and mysterious.  

"In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks."- John Muir.
This trip to the Sequoias was unforgettable.  

1 comment:

  1. Brady- the words cannot describe the wonders you capture here in this post. Breathtaking. Wow. Thank you for taking me with you. I especially love the first non person cave photo, you by the waterfall and the car with the tree. Exceptional. This is on our list of must-dos.

    Also, the tip about the tickets is huge. Gracias chica.


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