Day 49 We take the High Road

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
1
49
53
Trip End Oct 18, 2010


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We awoke less than fully rested, but drove off early on the Tioga Road. This is probably one of the most famous drives in the western US, traveling eastward from Yosemite Valley up over the Sierra Nevada's, with a maximum road elevation of some 11,000 feet.

Our first walk was up the side of a mountain, starting from 10,000 ft. The altitude and the steepness were probably a bit too much, but we managed, slowly. The views across the glacial valley, brown meadows, snowcapped mountains and crystal clear lakes were worth it. We walked through areas where last winters snow had only just started to melt, so presumably some summers it doesn't melt at all.

Our second walk was to view the largest living things on earth, a grove of Giant Sequoias. Well I thought the Great Barrier Reef was the world's largest organism, but I guess it's a matter of definitions.* Certainly very big trees. The real significance of these trees are that Yosemite was founded out if a public desire to protect 3 groves of Giant trees. Eventually to become one of the worlds first national parks, the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove were protected by federal order in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln.**

Once again, tired, but full from another buffet dinner. Wish we'd discovered buffets earlier, they are perfect for grabbing food for Toby.

* The signs at the grove claimed that the Coastal Redwood are the world's tallest trees, and the Blistering Pine is the world's oldest. But the Giant Sequoias are the world's largest, both in terms of volume and mass. I wonder what the world's densest living creature is? Probably the lead-eating flies of Namibia.

** So I guess they are also quite large in an historical context.
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