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Sequoia National Park -- May 15, 2012
Sequoia National Park

Day 3
Breakfast at Lodgepole Campground

Day 3. May 15, 2012. Lodgepole Camp to Lodgepole Camp.

We started our day with another of Liz's fine camp breakfasts, then headed to the Sherman Trail to visit the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on planet Earth. The tree truly is amazing and something to see. It is so tall that it takes a panorama of merged photos to capture it in a single photo. We were quite surprised to see an adult Yellow-bellied Marmot near the Sherman Tree because they are supposed to be high-elevation, alpine meadow creatures.

Day 3
General Sherman: largest tree on earth
After visiting the big tree and some of its friends, we stopped by our old cabin. It was built in the 1930 as temporary housing for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and was literally falling apart, but we were lucky enough to live in it at the end of a quite road for 4 summers. Lucky for current park personnel, the cabin was gone, but it looked like someone got to park a travel trailer or RV on the site during summers. It was great to visit the site of so many fond memories (the cat stalking deer, Pileated Woodpeckers bring their fledgelings in for a visit, and Golden-crowned Kinglets coming down to share our shower). The outhouse was still there, collapsed, but still there.
Day 3
Our old cabin site

After lunch, we headed back to the Giant Forest and hiked on the Hazelwood Trail. shortly after the paved trail ended and the mass of tourists fell back, we encountered a momma bear in a meadow eating grass and forbs while her cub climbed dogwood trees to feast on the flowers. When it got all the flowers it could from a spot, it would climb down, run over to check in with mom, and then find another dogwood to climb. After watching this for most of an hour, momma bear wandered over to a giant sequoia tree, sat down and leaned her back up against the tree, and spread her belly to her cub. Resting her hands on her knees, she gave the cub 10 minutes at her teats. The little one seemed over joyed to finally getting a good meal as it worked her pectoral and inguinal teats. Eventually she got up, and as the cub tried to crawl under her, she gave a loud grunt that sent the cub scampering off several yards. With that, she wandered of to sleep behind a tree with the cub following close behind.

Day 3
Trail in the Giant Forest

We wandered off too, eventually finishing our loop trail and coming back by the meadow. Behind the tree, we could see the snout of a momma bear resting on her hand. Presumably, the cub was sleeping alongside.

After the hike, we wandered back to camp for dinner, and afterwards we out to look for fish in the river. Of course, we couldn't let a few moments of daylight pass unused, so we hiked up the Tokopah Falls above the campground. The hike was uneventful except for a few birds singing over the noise of the river, and we stopped at a set of cascades where snowmelt was raging over the rocks. We got back to the trailhead and camp just as the last light was fading.

Day 3
Momma bear in the Giant Forest (cub in tree)
Day 3
Liz in the Giant Forest
Day 3
Marble Fork, Kaweah River above campground
Day 3
Roaring cascade on Marble Fork, Kaweah River

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120517

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