Saturday, October 28, 2017

Giant Sequoias and Gold Rush Country, Oct 27, 2017, Ray M

FF Toronto Ambassadors with FF Sac Hosts on 'The Big Stump'

FF Toronto Ambassadors on 'The Big Stump'

Giant Sequoias and Gold Rush Country

Inbound from Toronto Canada, Day 3 of 8, October 27, 2017
By:  Ray M

Calaveras Big Trees State Park picnic
12:00 noon Meet in picnic area at noon for lunch (provided).

First, a group photo on the "Big Stump" - what is left of the "Discovery Tree", the largest tree originally in the North Grove.  This tree was cut down by speculators in 1853. It was over 280 feet tall.  Despite the size, the ring count showed that it was only 1244 years old.  Some in the grove are much older.    The speculators re-assembled the bark back east for a road show, but was destroyed by fire one year later.  No saw was large enough, so they used augers to drill holes through the tree (visible marks on fallen trunk).  The stump was planed flat for a dance floor.

Then a nice walk along the North Grove trail ...  Another group picture at the 'Empire Tree'.  The Empire tree is probably the largest giant sequoia in the North Grove (at least in terms of mass).  Base diameter is 30 feet, and 4.5 feet above the ground it is 20 feet.  See us?

Here's a zoom-in of the base of the tree.

Elaine D

After the walk, we were on our own.  Some stopped to look around in the historic town of Murphys for antiques or wine tasting. And some continued on for more wine tasting at Ironstone Winery on a little back road not far from Murphys. Ironstone has beautiful winery grounds and vineyards, as well as a small museum with some very interesting mineral specimens including this one. http://www.ironstonevineyards.com/About-Ironstone/Museum-and-Gold-Leaf-Specimen. 

The gold nugget is named the Kautz specimen and weighs in at 44 pounds of gold.  This is the largest specimen of crystalline gold in the world.  The specimen consists of many layers of leaf gold separated by rock. This is the largest piece of gold mined in North America since the 1880s, it was discovered on Dec 26, 1992 near Jamestown in Tuolumne County, CA.

Elaine, Carol, Bernadette, Diane with Kautz gold nugget

Angels Camp, Jackson and Sutter's Creek are all historic towns along the drive.

Dinner with hosts.

In Friendship and Peace

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