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A Travelling Days Website

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THE ROAD from Visalia, California, rises steadily into the Sierra range. This is the view looking back towards Terminus Dam, Exeter and Visalia.

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A winding road climbs past a waterfall near Three Rivers - note the photographer sitting on the rocks! ...

... and eventually reaches the snowline within the forest.

Sequoia is a genus of conifer comprising two species, S. sempervirens (redwood) and S. gigantea (big tree). The redwood is native in coast ranges from southern Monterey to Oregon.
    The 'big tree' is found in scattered, protected groves (about 70 in total) at 3,000 to 8,500 feet on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and stretching from from Placer to Tulare counties.
    The 'big tree' was reputed to be the 'oldest living thing' until specimens of bristlecone pine were shown to be older. Some specimens of Sequoia gigantea are believed to be over 3.500 years old and counts in large stumps have shown 5000 rings.
    The largest living specimen is the General Sherman tree in the Sequoia National Park, with a measurement of over 100 feet at the base, diameter of around 30 feet (8 feet above the ground), and a height of nearly 300 feet and weighs over 6,000 tons.   The Sequoia National Park with an area of almost 400,000 acres was established by Congress in 1890.

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A shack surrounded by tall Sequoia trees.

The park, before the Europeans came was home to the grizzly bear. This symbol of California is now extinct in the state, but the Sierran black bear can still be found in the foothills and high contry. Normally shy and timid the bear has learned to associate people with food and will identify it not only by smell but by appearance - cans, bags, coolers and food chests can all fall prey to the animal. Cars and homes may also be broken into in the bear's search for food.
    Mountain lions, or cougars, also roam within the park. They once ranged from Canada through to South America and from coast to coast. Since the 1920s as a result of hunting and loss of habitat they are now mainly confined to the west.

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A view looking east over the Sierra Nevadas from the road in Sequoia National Forest.

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