But anyway, back to the question at hand - squat or tall?
I'm going to have to go with squat. But not any ordinary squat. A magnificent sort of squat.
Like this example seen at Sequoia National Park.
Okay, to be fair, this particular redhead is pretty tall too. She and her sisters can reach 311 feet. That might be why they call them Sequoiadendron giganteum or Giant Sequoias. But they are really big trees in more ways than one - they pack a lot of weight on them! The tallest of them, the General Sherman Tree, weighs 2.7 million pounds and is over 100 feet wide. And of course, they're a lovely shade of red.
The Giant Sequoias have some cousins, known as the Sequoia sempervirens, or Californian Redwoods, who can get up to 378 feet tall. They have that lean, long look about them (along with that same fabulous auburn coloring), but they aren't nearly as impressive. Don't get me wrong, they're still pretty darn impressive, but when you encounter something as massive as a Giant Sequoia, you pretty much have to concede that squat trumps tall. Which means I can happily order another salted caramel mocha from Starbucks (venti, please), let it settle on my hips and embrace my squatness. Take that, Rockettes.
Anyway, here are some more random pictures and thoughts from our time at Sequoia National Park.
Sometimes, you just have to do something super cheesy, like drive your vehicle through a tunnel in a tree. I wonder what would happen if you happen to scrape your car up as you drove through. How would you explain that to your insurance company? "You see, I was driving through a giant tree and now I have this dent in my door." I think they might assume you ate one too many magic mushrooms, hallucinated the whole giant tree thing and hang up on you.
Of course, it isn't all about trees at Sequoia National Park. We did this amazing hike up to Moro Rock. If you're afraid of heights like me, you'll love this walk. You climb up a steep 1/4 mile staircase 300' to the top of a granite dome where you have amazing views of the mountains. And the best part is that there are railings everywhere, so you can't accidentally stumble, fall off of the dome and plummet to your death. Of course, a giant bird of prey could still fly down, grab you in his talons and drop you over the edge, but I guess you have to take some chances in life.
If you're into politics and trees, you can always go for a walk on The Congress Trail. For some strange reason, they've named different trees after the House, the Senate and the President. I'm sure there is some irony to be found here. These are the Senate group of trees. A bunch of old trees which are still standing, despite Mother Nature trying to burn them down in the past.
This picture has nothing to do with Sequoia National Park, except for the fact that we saw it on our way there. I can't quite figure it out. One theory is that some sort of giant, alien, blue pig fell down from outer space and landed on this pick-up truck. Try explaining that one to your insurance company. "I need to file a claim because a giant blue pig fell down from outer space and crushed my brand new pick-up truck." I'm pretty sure the insurance agent who answered the phone would hang up on you. However, as we all know, the NSA listen in on calls on a routine basis. Their ears would perk right up the minute you mention the giant, alien blue pigs, because they've been trying to keep their existence secret from the American population for years now. If I were you, I would drive your hybrid pig pick-up truck as fast as you can, head to the hills and start hiding because the Feds are coming for you.
And, I'll leave you with one last shot from the trail up to Moro Rock. It will help you forget all about the freaky, blue pig.
We drove through trees and climbed up rocks in Sequoia National Park on Saturday, 25 October 2014.