This past Saturday, Feb. 19, I woke early enough to arrive at Calaveras Big Trees State Park off Highway 4, get my $10 entry fee paid, and start walking just after 8:30 a.m.

My objective was the Calaveras South Grove Natural Preserve, which historians and nonprofit conservationists call “remote and tranquil.” It’s described in a guide as “a pristine stand of giant sequoias, the earth’s largest living objects,” containing about 1,000 large giant sequoias. That’s 10 times as many as the park’s North Grove has, and among the South Grove big trees are the largest known giant sequoias in the whole park. 

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