1. I mentioned that the elevation of the western states has surprised me. From Google I got these numbers of mean elevation of the states we have visited:
New Mexico. 1700
Comparing these numbers to the State of Maine at 150 you can imagine the difference we discovered on roads and trails.
2. It is very important for me to acknowledge the debt that we as Americans owe to the many people who recognized the value of these amazing natural sites and worked to protect them. What a privilege we have to visit these amazing places. Sequoia NP is the second oldest national park (Yellowstone was first) and we thank John Muir among others who worked against the lumbering that would have wiped out the giant trees.
We are grateful to him and all those with the vision to save, protect and to make them accessible to most people of the world.
3. We found this neat postcard that we plan to send to the grand kids and thought you might enjoy this comparison in picture form.
We learned that although the Redwood of northern coastal California is taller, the older Sequoias of the high Sierras contain much more volume of wood and are therefore larger trees. Indeed, they are considered the oldest trees on earth as well.
4. San Joaquin Valley was another surprise and I just want to give a shout out to the farmers and growers who manage this "food basket of the world". This is an amazing wide valley that includes the cities of Fresno and Bakersfield. But the agriculture stands out. Here grows most grapes for raisins, cotton, asparagus, pistachios and almonds, and much of the fruits we associate with California. It was beautiful to drive through the field and vineyards, but we failed to get pictures. These wildflowers lined the roads however.
5. The last note is about Latona. As I mentioned, she always seems to find hearts everywhere!
I mentioned this in a discussion with some other hikers in the Grand Canyon. One young woman looked at us and said, "you must be very tuned in." We can all agree that she is very tuned into the heart. I am grateful that we are on our journey together...no matter where, no matter what!