May 13, 2014
Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias
Total Distance: 3 miles
Merced Grove, though the smallest of three Giant Sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park, is my favorite because it’s the most secluded and least crowded. Chris and I visited the grove to see some of the largest living things on earth.
We entered the forest from the small, paved parking lot. There, the path was wide and the dirt soft. We walked through the din of chattering birds and squirrels.
At a signed fork in the trail, we headed left and descended six hundred feet on a narrower and rockier path. Below the trail, Moss Creek flowed silently and dogwoods bloomed under a canopy of towering pines.
We approached the ancient grove at the forest floor where five sturdy Sequoias stood like sentries protecting their home.
From there the trail leveled.
We walked in awe passed several more Giant Sequoias and dogwoods until we reached Russell Cabin.
Russell Cabin was constructed in the 1930’s and served as a ranger station and a place for an occasional retreat for the park superintendent.
We sat on the sunny porch looking at the trees of the forest.
Across the cabin steps sat two Sequoias, one that suffered burn damage at its base with a scar large enough to stand in.
The trail continued beyond the cabin through a lush greenness that thoroughly bespoke spring.
We left the cabin and traversed the uphill path passing only one or two wildflowers on the way back.
I wondered what was going on in the world when these old trees were sprouting? Though I didn’t know the answer off-hand, I was content to be near them and to touch them knowing that they will be standing long after I am not.