Sequoia National Park and the Crystal Cave

It’s still 1990 in Sequoia National Park. By that I mean, absolutely zero cell service. It’s kind of nice but after 2 days, I worry about my brain twin, and regret not making phone calls on Saturday before I arrived.

Sequoia has a similar landscape to Yosemite, both a part of the high Sierra Mountains. Sequoia is obviously the less visited of the two, with few amenities available. But it was easy to get a camp sight, despite the holiday weekend.

Sequoia is also home to General Sherman, the largest tree by volume. It’s the largest living thing on the planet. I am not really even sure how to comprehend that fact. I have seen a lot of global superlatives. Ferris wheels, aquariums, etc, but largest living thing has a certain sort of umph that can’t quite compare to anything else.

I also went to see the Crystal Caves in the park. It felt a little ominous pto see this ticket:

I guess it’s time to really test my relationship with spiders.

I have to laugh at myself, every time I hear a ranger talk. I always have a sense of incredulity about the seriousness they have. It makes me wonder how many people come through the national parks and make complete asses of themselves. I was sternly told to make sure I have a water bottle and make sure I go to the bathroom. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a snack, since it’s a few miles of walking. But don’t leave food in my car. Do I have a flashlight? Don’t forget a jacket!

I appreciate the cautions about distance and difficulty, but all the other warnings make me feel like I am 10 years old. Which makes me wonder at how many people the rangers have to deal with that are being dumb dumbs. And it irks to admit how often being reminded to have a water bottle is actually necessary for me. So while it may make me feel like I am being overly parented by rangers, I do admit that, unlike at home, I don’t have a ton of experience. I have spent less than 10 days alone in national parks. So, sure, I don’t need someone to check up on me and make sure I have everything I need to run errands and go to work, but that’s pretty far removed from where I am now. I may laugh at the dumb dumbs that prompt that rangers to be so stern, but really I should thank them. Without those dumb dumbs, the park rangers wouldn’t be looking out for dumb dumbs like me.

The walk down to the cave is easy enough, but the 300 foot drop in elevation over a half mile made me dread the trip back to the top.


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