Nation’s Christmas Tree

President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant in Kings Canyon National Park as the Nation’s Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926 after a little girl exclaimed, “what a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!” back in 1924 while looking up at it.

Colonel John White, longtime Park Superintendent, expressed the feeling that brings people here year after year, “We are gathered here around a tree that is worthy of representing the spirit of America on Christmas Day. That spirit is best expressed in the plain things of life, the love of the family circle, the simple life of the out-of-doors. The tree is a pillar that is a testimony that things of the spirit transcend those of the flesh.”

May this special spirit be with you these holidays!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out of town for a few days and visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Given this trip was plan B for our summer vacation, it turned out really great!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon sit south of Yosemite National Park in California in the southern Sierra Nevadas. Sequoia is America’s second national park created in 1890.

In Sequoia National Park, the kids opted to check out General Sherman as our first adventure in the park. General Sherman stands as the earth’s largest tree in volume of total wood. It is 275 feet tall with a circumference of 103 feet. Its trunk weighs an estimated 1,385 tons! It’s also estimated to be 2,200 years old! Every year, General Sherman grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tall tree of usual size.

Over in Kings Canyon National Park, we checked out General Grant.

While these parks have the amazing giant trees, these two parks also showcase other diverse parts of nature. Enjoy a few photos of other parts of these parks:

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We really enjoyed our time here! We did miss going to the visitor centers and listening to ranger talks, but the kids still learned new things and completed their junior ranger books that we printed out at home before our trip. 

While most people drive on through these two parks in one day, you can easily spend multiple days here and enjoy the variety of landscapes and trails here. I’d highly recommend checking out these two parks if you’re in the area!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir