While walking around Crescent Meadow Trail, I was soon annoyed with the incessant talking of the other humans walking in the same direction. I got off the paved trail and started walking on a dirt trail, but quickly became concerned about bear attacks and getting lost. I know I’m not supposed to hike alone. I backtracked and got myself on the the paved trail again. (Paved trails are safe, right?)
I hadn’t gone far when I saw a sign that read “Chimney Tree” and pointed down a dirt path. I decided to go that way, figuring I wouldn’t get lost in 3/10 of a mile, especially if I stayed on the obvious path. And I decided that if I was attacked by a bear, well, maybe that was better than me attacking one of those yacking humans.
I felt like I walked a long way before I got to Chimney Tree. It was a nice walk, peaceful. The air was cool, and while it wasn’t raining, the world felt moist. All I had to listen to was my own breathing and the occasional bird song. I saw so many giant sequoias in various stages of life and death. None of those trees lived in a gated community, and yes, I hugged a few. The whole scene was heavenly.
I didn’t know what Chimney Tree looked like, but since the Forest Service generously put a little sign next to it, I knew when I arrived.
According to http://www.americansouthwest.net/california/sequoia/crescent-meadow-trail.html, the Chimney Tree is “an aged sequoia destroyed by fire in 1914 leaving a hollow blackened trunk, still standing defiantly.”
See that little dark circle at the bottom of the tree? If one ducks a bit, one can go through that portal and into the tree! Of course I went inside. I like being inside trees. I spent a few moments wrapped in the tree energy before more humans arrived, and I felt compelled to move on.
I took all of the photos in this post.