I touched the largest organism ON EARTH!

…and lived to tell the story.

General Sherman Triptych
Top of the General Sherman Sequoia Tree, the largest organism on earth, at Sequoia National Park
Middle of the General Sherman Sequoia Tree, the largest organism on earth, at Sequoia National Park
Bottom of the General Sherman Sequoia Tree, the largest organism on earth, at Sequoia National Park

This past weekend Stephanie and I ventured out to Sequoia National Park on one of our trademark spontaneous adventures. We’d been talking about taking advantage of the three day weekend to get out of the city, but we agreed that we didn’t want to plan too much.

A note on spontaneity:
Sometimes trip planning adds a certain stress of having to adhere to the plan that negates the relaxation that the plan was supposed to produce. Sometimes Saturday comes around and laptopping and cooking seems more therapeutic than getting to some hotel room reserved in advance on a whim the previous day when taking a long drive seemed like a good idea. Contradictory as it might seem, being spontaneous (as a reaction to planning) requires discipline and sticktoitiveness. For example, after doing a bit of research on Sequoia National Park Friday night, I found a hotel with vacancy and a reasonable rate staring me in the face. Making the reservation would mean security in knowing that upon arrival we’d have a place to stay at the lowest possible price. But doing so would also eliminate all other possible outcomes that could arise between now and then. The sole risk of not making a reservation would be “No Vacancy.” I’ve stared those two words in the face enough times to know—they don’t scare me. Plus Google Maps told us there were several hotels near Three Rivers, CA, mitigating our overall risk. For every national hotel chain at a tourist destination there are at least two local dives that probably don’t have a webpage.

And so it was that after a leisurely lunch at Chai-Yo with Julie, Patrice, and Eva Saturday afternoon, they offered to drive us to my car (parked at work in Sausalito) on their way back to Santa Rosa. We accepted and walked back to our apartment to furiously throw some clothes into bags. Layers. Is it cold in Sequoia National Park in February? Umm, probably. Is there snow on the ground? Uh, maybe. When was the last time I saw snow? Ah, spontaneity.

· Outdoors