Tharp’s Log

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After I left the Chimney Tree, I headed to Tharp’s Log. I’d read about this fallen sequoia turned into a cabin, and I wanted to see it too.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharp%27s_Log,

Tharp’s Log is a hollowed giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) log at Log Meadow in the Giant Forest grove of Sequoia National Park that was used as a shelter by early pioneers. The log is named after Hale Tharp, who was described as the first Non-Native American to enter the Giant Forest.

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More of your tax dollars at work for signage. Beyond the sign is the cabin Tharp built in the fallen sequoia tree.

Tharp had arrived in 1852 in the goldfields around Placerville, becoming a cattleman rather than a miner. Tharp moved to the area of the Kaweah River in 1856, and with guides from the Potwisha people of the area he explored the mountains above. Tharp went back in 1860 with his two sons. They climbed Moro Rock and made an encampment near Crescent Meadows. It was not until 1869 that Tharp moved a cattle herd into the Giant Forest area.[2]

Tharp established a small summer cattle ranch at Giant Forest and used a fallen log as a cabin. The log was hollowed by fire through fifty-five feet of its seventy-foot length. A fireplace, door and window exist at the wider end, with a small shake-covered cabin extension.[3]

John Muir described it as a “noble den”.[4]

It was cool to see the fallen tree Tharp made into a cabin. A sign asked folks not to go all the way inside, so I didn’t. I think it would have been cooler if the cabin had been furnished with items similar to what Tharp had when he lived there, but I don’t think the Forest Service is in the business of historical reenactment.

In any case, it was very dark in the cabin, and fairly dark outside too, since the day was cloudy and giant trees were blocking the available light. My photos didn’t come out looking very good, but I’ll share with you what I’ve got.  (I kind of like that the photos look rather ghostly.)

Entrance to the Tharp's cabin.

Entrance to the Tharp’s cabin.

The interior of Tharp's cabin. I went as far inside as the sign allowed.

The interior of Tharp’s cabin. I went as far inside as the sign allowed.

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The side of the cabin tree. The light inside the cabin comes in from the window under those projecting boards.

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Tharp’s cabin’s side yard.

All photos in this post were taken by me, even the ghostly/shitty ones.

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

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