Thankfully, sore necks aren’t a symptom of COVID-19. Because my wife and I have doozies—not from being sick, but staring up towering tree trunks in Sequoia National Park.
Indeed, “Don’t forget to look up!” is sound advice for anyone visiting this off-the-beaten-path park in the Sierras just south of Yosemite.
With wildfires and pandemic protocols commanding center stage in the Golden State, my wife and I still decided to take a national park road trip, after dropping our daughter off at college at CalPoly in San Luis Obispo. So, in September, we point our Honda Pilot northeast after saying our tear-choked goodbyes at our masked daughter’s dorm and head through the smoke to the land of big trees.
Winding up the 85-year-old Generals Highway just south of the 220,000-acre Creek Fire, we cross the Kaweah River and climbed up the Sierra foothills until we started seeing them—first one or two by the road, causing us to get out and take photos, and then groves of the gargantuan beasts. Our first stop: General Sherman, the largest tree in the world, by volume, measuring 275 feet tall and 36.5 feet in diameter.