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California Parks

Sequoia - Day 3

Posted May 24, 2005 by John Woltman

Our third day in Sequoia included several random hikes, a tour of Crystal Cave, and a hunt for wildflowers.

Our goal for the day was a tour of Crystal Cave, but we got sidetracked fairly often on our journey. We stopped at a bridge and found some really neat moss just dripping from the water seeping down a rock. The area was filled with all sorts of wildflowers, most of which we identified. During the spring and summer, Sequoia is alive with colors - blue, yellow, purple, white - all dot the foothills, forests, and mountains.  After going through three different wildflower guides we still haven't identified everything we saw.

We eventually arrived at Crystal Cave, and chatted with the three park employees there. They gave us recommendations for Yosemite ("Don't see Mariposa Grove") and explained their backgrounds and other parks they've worked at (one of them in Alaska).

Once the tour started we had to walk down to the cave, which is a fairly short hike but mostly stairs. The path follows Cascade Creek, and ends at the yawning mouth of the cave. The tour was great, and we got to see many interesting formations in the cave. At one point our guide, David, turned off all the lights, probably for only a minute, but it seemed like an hour. Absolute darkness is disturbing, but a very neat experience.

Snow Flower
The Snow Plant is not a typical plant. Lacking chlorophyll it is covered with a symbiotic fungus that gathers nutrients from the earth for the plant.
Close-up of leaves