The General Sherman and a Black Bear

posted in: Motorcycling, Outdoors, Travel | 9

I can’t stress enough how much we ached after our hike down from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Honestly the most strenuous hike I’ve ever done, my ankles, knees, calf muscles and thighs were SO stiff the next morning. I’m very pleased we booked into that cabin and I didn’t have to try and get up off my sleeping mat and break camp. Wow. That doesn’t mean I enjoyed it any less, those miles were so worth it and I would do another one tomorrow if I had the opportunity. 

Zartusacan - The General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park

The General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park. With me for context. 

We rode from Yosemite back to Fresno and then headed east. It was the hottest day of the trip so far at 34 degrees as we rode along the long straight desert road towards Kings Canyon National Park, that was before we started climbing up to 7,000 feet along the winding road and through the forest, as by the time we were at the top it was down to 14. I love how you can feel the difference in temperature when riding a motorbike. We didn’t stop in Kings Canyon but headed straight into Sequoia National Park, which provided such nice scenery and a fabulous winding road along the edge of the mountain overlooking the valley and through forest with huge Redwoods and all kinds of Fir.

Naturally we stopped a couple of times to take in the view (and to stretch our stiff and aching legs!). As we were in bear country we were keeping our eyes peeled around us just in case we caught a glimpse of a notoriously shy and hidden black bear. I don’t think I ever thought we’d see one, but as we came around one bend in Sequoia and headed over a bridge we spotted a black furry thing in the middle of the open land. He (or in fact she) was wandering around the meadow-like area having a meal of grass and whatever else bears eat. I was surprised it wasn’t hidden in among the trees, but was right out in the open in full view of the road. We saw a bear, an actual wild bear, how awesome!

Zartusacan - A Bear in Sequoia National Park

An American Black Bear in Sequoia National Park. An actual bear.

Zartusacan - A Bear in Sequoia National Park

It was just wandering through the meadow. We were quite a distance away, of course.

Naturally, as we were in Sequoia National Park, we were obliged to stop at the General Sherman Tree. This is apparently the largest tree on earth based on the volume of the trunk, and I can confirm that it is indeed absolutely massive. It was about a half mile (slightly pained) walk from the parking lot down to the tree, which took us passed loads of other Redwood trees which were impressive enough, but when we reached the main event it was SO much bigger.

Zartusacan - The General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park

Trying to get a good shot of the tree was not easy.

The ride from the famous tree back out the other end of Sequoia was definitely one of those treasured motorcycling roads bikers hunt for. It was SO winding, twisting and turning and twisting some more for miles and miles. It was like that until we got back down to 3,000 feet or so, after which it was a pretty straight and very warm ride to our lodgings for the night. I love days like this – lots of miles in the saddle but all kinds of roads, some awesome scenery, and a couple of surprises for the memory banks. This road trip is definitely living up to my expectations sometime.

Zartusacan - The General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park

Standing with a fallen branch from the General Tree. Yes, a “branch”. 

See All the Posts > Our #Zartusacan Road Trip

9 Responses

  1. Jon Hansen

    Great pics. We’ve never been there yet, but it’s on our bucket list!

  2. slo

    Great pictures of the tree…..and yay for the bear sighting – with photographic evidence too! I was in equal measure both relieved and disappointed that I didn’t see one when in Alaska.

  3. Guy

    Hello from downtown Canada.

    Great blog.

    I was there last year for work with two guy, so we rented HD from Easy Rider. Was sooooo hot and dry at the bottom (over 100 F), but then damp and below 50 F up in the mountains. Was hoping to attach a pic of me in a big tree up there (only pic of me with HD gear), but…
    My wife and I are planning a UK/EU trip next year. Any advise would be welcomed. Will be renting a bike, leaving the TEX at home.


    • Splodz

      Hey – thanks – glad you enjoyed the blog. I loved how the temperatures were so different at the bottom and the top, it made doing the trip on motorbikes so worth it as you’d never know that in a car. Where abouts are you coming to over here? Would be really happy to help advise and inspire if you have any questions – drop me a line or tweet me ( and I’ll do my best.

      • Guy

        will do. We have a couple of friends that live near shefford in the county of bedfordshire. We would base camp from there. Do some touristy stuff. Do downton abbey. Big fan. Also, Dublin is on the list. Would hook up with other friend there for s wkd out. Since we’re flying over from Canada. We had an Iceland stay over planned. But looking for either a Scotland or Ireland bike tour. Still in the planning faze. Leaning toward Ireland. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
        As for social media. I have an email account LOL

      • Splodz

        Cool – middle England is awesome, make sure you get to the coast. Ireland and Scotland are both completely stunning places to explore. Just beautiful. I like to go to Scotland for road trip at least once every two years, can’t get enough of it.

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