It was expected that this week at the cabin would entail local exploration, the type of exploration allowed only by ignoring the clock and following a path chosen in the few moments before our next step.
So it was that Karen and I found ourselves at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, after, of course, stopping along the way to pick up seasonal favorites: apple cider donuts and fresh-pressed cider. I was familiar with the area, which is about an hour away from the cabin, but only as an extension of my search for new fishing waters, namely Beaver Creek and the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. To explain briefly, Calaveras Big Trees was created to preserver two groves of some of the most massive giant sequoia trees. (Not always the tallest, but volumetrically the world’s largest trees.) These are Sequoiadendron giganteum, the inland relative to the perhaps more familiar coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens.
The morning was spend wandering among these enormous trees, looking upward until our neck muscles complained during a hike that covered a few miles. But if the sequoias were the big stars of the show, big leaf maples and dogwoods were the flashy supporting players; this time of year decked out in shades of red, yellow and orange. Their dazzling colors proving that “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”1
Pictures are worth more words than I could possible write, so below is a gallery, a glimpse of what we saw.
1 Albert Camus