Without that President Obama would know, we did an inspection trip to Yosemite National Park just the day before his arrival for the father’s day weekend. We can confirm that he will have found the park in good shape and spectacular views from Glacier Point were awaiting him. As the snow is melting now on the mountain tops which is fuelling the waterfalls so that their roaring sound will be heard over miles. All seems very blue up in Yosemite and I am sure the bears enjoy their time. We did not have the pleasure of an encounter, which would have been an ambiguous pleasure in any case. But it was not a problem at all, as this would had never beaten this lunch with a little squirrel we enjoyed! It definitely got Spatzl most excited and the cuteness of this little fellow made her feed enough nuts to him to get him through two tough winters to come.
Anyway nature can be great, majestic and give you views, that are unique. The problem is only, if you are sharing this sensation with hundreds at the same time. It becomes a bit of a struggle to find the right spot for your picture, enjoy the tranquility of the moment or just sit and watch. In Yosemite we often felt that the first thousand had been there before us and the next are just behind us. Hence it was great to see it, but not our favourite, unlike Sequoia National Park.
It is such a quickly changing landscape, which awaits you after entering through the gates on your way up to the Giant Tree Forrest. It is a windy road, but if you do not encounter too many of these drivers, who are just about to get out of their car pushing it uphill, you will not mind the trip. The views are spectacular and the rapid change in the scenery from a dry brown to yellow grass landscape to a healthy green will be gentle on the eye. The air is as well fresher up there (as it is thinner 2.000 meter above sea level) and it is not unusual to only have temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius even in summer. When you make your way over from the parking lot to see General Sherman, the largest tree in the world, you feel like entering a cathedral. The cool air, the dimmed light and the silence that falls onto people walking will be clearly felt by anyone. There is a very particular energy in the air, fuelled by these giants, which have been around for the last 3.500 years. You simply cannot escape their magic. It was our first time hugging one of these giants and what a surprise. When you read why Sequoia trees can grow that old, you will find that their bark is very resistant – even to fires. So we were expecting something very concrete like, that would be edgy and not really pleasant to touch. Far from the truth – the bark is almost like a fur coat and if it has been warmed by the sun a touch which you do not want to miss. You feel the energy flowing from the trees and I am officially a tree hug lover now. Spatzl equally, was impressed by the cathedral of trees and we made our way towards the Congress Trail away from the more crowded places around General Sherman. It gets quiet very quickly and it is only you and the giants out there. We enjoyed sharing our time with them, while knowing in their lifespans this will have only been a nano second. They have been there before Christ was born, have lived through many wars, the industrial revolution and several fires, leaving some noticeable stains on some of them. Imagine if trees were giving us WIFI, we would plant thousands of them and maybe save our planet by doing that as well. It is a pity that they only provide the oxygen we breathe. The General teaches you respect and conquers your heart!