National Geographic : 2012 Dec
Once Nick was down, I went up myself--- slowly, clumsily, with help from Spickler. As- cending, I braced my feet gratefully against the great trunk. I stood for a moment, with Spickler beside me, on one of the huge limbs. A er half an hour, I found myself in the crown of the Pres- ident, 200 feet above the ground. I saw the big burls at close range. I saw the smooth, purplish bark of the smaller branches. All around me was living tree. I looked up, dizzily, noticing small cracks in the deadwood and channels of cam- bium that owed between trunk and limbs like a river of life. I thought: What an amazing place. en I thought: What an amazing creature. Next afternoon, with Nick and the others gone, I snowshoed back to the President alone. There had been too much to take in, and I wanted another look. For a while I gaped at the tree. It was magni cent. Serene. It didn't sway in the breeze; too solid to sway. I wondered about its history. I contemplated its durability and its patience. e day was warmish, and as I stood there, the President released a small dollop of melting snow from a high branch. e snow scattered as it fell, dissipating into tiny ecks and crystals, catching the light as they tumbled toward me. "Gesundheit," I said. j Resolute and anchored in their remote habitat, the giant sequoias withstand the weight of winter snow and many other stresses. They have seen times and trends and peoples come and go; we are merely the latest.