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9 Awe Inspiring Facts – Pioneer Cabin Tree

9 Awe Inspiring Facts – Pioneer Cabin Tree

Here at the Calaveras Visitors Bureau we were shocked and saddened by the loss of the iconic Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Before falling on Sunday January 9th at 2pm, this statuesque giant sequoia—the largest living species on earth–touched the lives of millions of people from all around the world. In the days following this incident we have received an outpouring of support and grief from locals and visitors and inquiries from reporters from all around the world.

In honor of this iconic member of the Calaveras community, we would like to tell its story.

A photo posted by Go Calaveras (@gocalaveras) on

    1. Though there are many remaining tunnel trees around the world, the Pioneer Cabin Tree could hardly be called one of many. Possibly more than 1000 years old, it stood in the first grove of giant sequoias ever encountered by Westerners.

R.I.P. Pioneer Cabin Tree: a winter storm in California has felled this famous sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The tree was so massive that an automobile could pass through the tunnel at its base. This photograph of the tree dates from circa 1870, before the tunnel was carved out in the 1880s. It comes from an album of photographs of California presented by Edward Vischer to John Prince-Smith [WA Photos 245]. … #pioneercabintree #calaverasbigtrees #calaverasbigtreesstatepark #treesofinstagram #giantsequoia #giantsequoias #sequoia #sequoiatrees #sierranevada #westernamerica #californiana #westernamericana #19thcenturyphotos #19thcenturyphotography #librariesofinstagram #beineckelibrary #specialcollections #brbl #yalelibrary #rip #restinpeace #requiescatinpace

A photo posted by Beinecke Library (@beineckelibrary) on

2. The Pioneer Cabin Tree was part of the ongoing legacy of preservation-education cultivated by the outstanding staff and volunteers at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  With a tunnel carved through its base, the Pioneer Cabin Tree stood as a pre-historic relic of a bygone era.

3. As the story goes, upon the initial “discovery” of giant sequoias in the Calaveras grove in 1852, they were the largest living thing ever discovered, and in a time of tall tales, the world needed proof. The Pioneer Cabin Tree stood silent witness as men with  dollar signs flashing before their eyes came to peel the bark from one of the largest giant sequoias in the park (The Mother of the Forest Tree) to ship overseas to Europe and the East Coast as proof that these massive behemoths really existed—killing the skinned tree in the process. 

4. Eerily, the Pioneer Cabin Tree may have sensed the loss of this very tree through a fungal network below the forest floor.

5. For many years it was believed that the giant sequoias (housed in what is now known as Calaveras Big Trees State Park) were the only living specimens of their kind, attracting visitors from all over the world. As more giant sequoias were discovered, private grove handlers became competitive.

6. Shortly after the Wawona Tree in Yosemite (which fell in 1969) received the first tunnel for vehicles to pass through in 1880, the owner of the Calaveras grove, James Sperry, sought a large enough sequoia to do the same. He settled on the Pioneer Cabin Tree not only due to its vast circumference but in large part due to a cave-like scar it had received from a lightning strike in the distant past.

7. As a testament to the resilience of the Pioneer Cabin Tree, after this further hollowing, it survived for another 137 years as many early visitors passed through in wagons, horse drawn carriages, and (before it was outlawed) cars. The inner walls of the Pioneer Cabin Tree housed the laughter of visitors, somber whispers, and the hands of all who passed through its central corridor.

Photo Credit: Maria Camillo. Calaveras Big Trees State Park Cabin Pioneer Tree 19th century name carvings. The tradition of visitors to carve their name into the inner walls of the tree was outlawed when the State Park was formed in 1931.

Photo Credit: Maria Camillo. Calaveras Big Trees State Park Cabin Pioneer Tree 19th century name carvings. The tradition of visitors to carve their name into the inner walls of the tree was outlawed when the State Park was formed in 1931.

8. Since the founding of the state park in 1931, the giant sequoia which spent the last 150+ years of its life known as the Pioneer Cabin Tree has stood as an icon of one awe-inspiring and humbling question: what does it mean to love an ancient living being?

A photo posted by Eloise (@eloise_the_trex) on

9. Even in discussions of its falling in 2017, across every channel, these questions are arising. Fortunately the answer is always close at hand—these trees are a treasure not to be taken lightly. While they remain a rarity in the grand scale of our modern way of living, today we are fortunate to still have thousands of healthy,  thriving giant sequoias in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, as well as the national park system available to inspire us.

Facebook user Selbee Crouch says: " I love this tree so much. My husband and I have so many memories with it, like when he proposed to me ❤ We will forever miss this gorgeous tree."

Facebook user Shelbee Crouch says: ” I love this tree so much. My husband and I have so many memories with it, like when he proposed to me ❤ We will forever miss this gorgeous tree.”

So in honor of the Pioneer Cabin Tree, see them while you still can, while they are here and you are able. Get out there and meet all of the good employees and volunteers in our state and national park systems who are there to hear our questions of “How?” and “Why?” and whose hard work gives us the opportunity to allow our great-great grandchildren the chance to do the same. Let’s do our best to honor the wisdom of our ancestors and replace their folly with change. Here at the Calaveras Visitors Bureau we don’t know about you, but we’re ready to hop lightly, leaving no trace behind.

Angels Camp to San Andreas Bike Ride

Angels Camp to San Andreas Bike Ride

Mtn_Bike_foothillsLength: 16 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Climbing: Approximately 600 feet, return is 1600 feet
Road or Mountain Bike

Start: Go 10 miles down Dogtown Road to Fricot City Road. Go about 200 yards to Calaveritas Road. Turn left and go about 6 miles to San Andreas. Turn left onto Mountain Ranch Road to downtown to San Andreas, about ½ mile.

Highlights: Very low traffic, historic mining towns of Dogtown, Calaveritas and San Andreas. Visit the county’s museum and check out historic San Andreas.

Arnold Rim Trail

Arnold Rim Trail

Arnold Rim Trail Association
P.O. Box 441
Arnold, CA 95223
arnoldrimtrail.org

TRAIL MAP

Hike, bike, or horseback ride the Arnold Rim Trail, a mid-elevation non-motorized trail in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains. Connecting the many wonders of public lands along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway stretch of Hwy 4 to its communities, this beautiful trail creates a high level of access for its residents and visitors. You’ll discover breathtaking vistas with panoramic views stretching from Mt. Diablo in the East Bay Area to snowy Mt. Lyell on the high eastern slopes of the Sierras near Yosemite, then dive down into canyons with streams coursing through the shade of older growth forests of cedar, pine, fir and oak. High rocky promontories, native acorn grinding rocks, a magnificent waterfall, many birds and wildlife of all kinds, and a lake lie along its current completed section in the part of the Stanislaus National Forest known as the Interface.

Blogs featuring the Arnold Rim Trail: Do This! Discover Calaveras’ Hiking and Paddling Sweet Spots | 2013 Innovations in Tourism Award-Winners Announced |  Destination Arnold: 7 Things to Do When You Get Here | Do This! Discover Calaveras’ Hiking and Paddling Sweet Spots | Disc Golf Takes Off in Calaveras CountyAccounting Along the Arnold Rim TrailTop Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities | Calaveras County: Your Adventure Land, Summer Edition | Hike This: Arnold Rim Trail

Videos featuring the Arnold Rim Trail: The Pooch Perspective on the Arnold Rim Trail |  Arnold Rim Trail

Innovations in TourismThe Arnold Rim Trail Association received the BEST RECREATION award in the 2013 Calaveras Visitors Bureau Innovations in Tourism Awards for the planning and development of the Arnold Rim Trail and map.

 

Barrel of Monkeez, Family Entertainment Center

Barrel of Monkeez, Family Entertainment Center

Barrel of Monkeez

 

 

 

209-813-8753

2465 Gun Club Road
Angels Camp, CA

barrelofmonkeez.net

 

Barrel of Monkeez is the whole family indoor entertainment center fun for all ages.  Activities include:

  • Two huge bounce houses (even adults can play in)
  • A toddler interactive area and racetrack
  • 9-hole mini-golf course
  • Black light lazer tag arena
  • Sumo suits
  • Jousting
  • Boxing
  • Inflatable rock wall
  • Monkey ball
  • Sensory interactive multi-player gaming floor
  • Karaoke/dance music studio
  • Large party room
  • and more!

    Healthy concessions, outside food and drinks welcome.  (NO PEANUTS, SHELLFISH, GLASS OR ALCOHOL).  A safe, clean NO SHOES FACILITY, SOCKS REQUIRED BY EVERYONE.Also available for special events, celebrations, schools, company parties fundraisers, etc.  Admission is good for all day.  Please call or check our website calendar, Facebook for hours of availability as our hours are subject to change due to special events. Check out our Facebook page: facebook.com/BarrelOfMonkeez.

Blogs featuring Barrel of Monkeez: Families Go Bananas for Barrel of Monkeez in Angels Camp

 

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company209-753-2834
1 Bear Valley Road
Bear Valley, CA
bearvalleyxc.com

65 Km. of scenic groomed track, skating and snowshoeing trails, four trailside huts, trailside cafe.  Sledding hill.  Complete cross country ski rental and lesson programs.

Amenities include 35 trails carefully groomed for track and skate skiing and snowshoeing, the Meadow Cafe, a complete rental, demo and retail facility, 4 Trailside Huts, picnic tables, park benches, two kids’ trails, a new waxing hut, groomed downhill practice area and a sledding/tubing facility. Trails are open from 9am to 4:30pm daily.

Related links: Bear Valley Adventure Company

Blogs featuring Bear Valley Cross Country:   Top Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities | Winter in Calaveras: Catch the Highlights | Winter in Calaveras: Active adventures | Winter

Videos fearing Bear Valley Cross Country: Paul’s Pointers: Getting Started | Paul’s Pointers: Clothing and Gear

Bear Valley Mountain

Bear Valley Mountain

bear-valley-snow209-753-2301
Highway 4 at Highway 207
Bear Valley 95223
bearvalley.com

Spectacular snow sports destination, averaging over 30′ annually at 8,500′ summit .  67 runs, 1900 vertical feet, 10 lifts, beginner carpet lift.  Lift tickets, rentals and learn to ski/board packages. Child care for 2+.

Related links:  Bear Valley Lodge | Bear Valley Vacation Rentals | Sierra Nevada Adventure Company

Blogs featuring Bear Valley Mountain: Need some help making Easter plans? | Winter in Calaveras: Active adventures | Lonely Planet Picks Gold Country as Top 10 Travel Pick | Winter | Calaveras County California: At a Glance | Top Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities

Videos fearing Bear Valley Mountain: Bear Valley Ski Resort

Bear Valley Mountain Best Recreation Innovations in TourismBear Valley Mountain received the BEST RECREATION award in the 2015 Calaveras Visitors Bureau Innovations in Tourism Awards for bringing in high profile events and making snow to keep the mountain open during drought years.

 

Bear Valley Snowmobile

Bear Valley Snowmobile

Bear Valley Snowmobile209-753-2323
3 Bear Valley Road
(Right inside Village Lodge)
Bear Valley CA 95223

bvsnowmobile.com

Established in 1967

For the best pricing and best snowmobile experience, come rent a snowmobile by the hour to enjoy the beautiful groomed trails of Stanislaus Forest.  Enjoy scenic views of Lake Alpine, Spicer Reservoir and many other points of interest.  Fun for the whole Family!  Kids as young as two can ride our snowmobiles with the help of a five-point harness that attaches them to an adult.

We are the only snowmobile rental operator who has the privilege to rent and patrol snowmobiles in this breath taking environment. Our snowmobiles are staged for you in the USFS Sno-Parks so there is no need to trailer or make unsafe crossings over Hwy 4 from Bear Valley. Also, for your safety, two snowmobile minimum per rental during your self-guided tour.

Either make reservations with our on-line easy check out calendar, or give us a call at 877-HWY4-FUN (877-499-4386). If you see “CALL to RESERVE” on the calendar this is our busiest time so as not to over book we require phone reservations in order to ensure real-time booking protection.

PLEASE ARRIVE AN HOUR BEFORE YOUR START TIME FOR THE ALPINE AND SPICER trails at our shop at 3 Bear Valley Road inside the Lodge to allow for time to fill out the paperwork, helmet fittings and the 2-4 mile drive to the trail head at the Sno-Park.

To rent snowmobiles for the Bear Valley 10 mile long groomed trail we offer snowmobiles with trailers (great for kids!) on a first-come-first-serve basis. During the holidays please allow a 1/2 hour for possible wait times. Give us a call at 877-HWY4-FUN (877-499-4386) and we will let you know what the availability is like.

Blogs featuring Bear Valley Snowmobile: White Knuckle Adventure PlannerWinter in Calaveras: Active adventures | Winter |  Top Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities

Bear Valley Snowmobile Family

 

From our Family to yours!
Greg and Sandy Price with their sons.

 

 

 

Bear Valley Snwomobile USFS certificate     Bear Valley Snowmobile operates under a USFS Use Permit for the:
Alpine Sno-Park
Spicer Sno-Park
Bear Valley “In Town” Trail

 

 

Bear Valley Summer Day Camp

Bear Valley Summer Day Camp

Bear Valley Summer Day Camp209-890-8040
PO Box 5186
Bear Valley, CA 95223
bearvalleydaycamp.com
Facebook page

At Bear Valley Summer Day Camp our mission is to provide opportunities for children to learn and grow in the High Sierra mountain playground. We utilize a values-based curriculum with outdoor activities and educational experiences to nurture a lifetime of healthy choices and self-confidence, while respecting and protecting the great outdoors.

Activities include swimming, hiking, kayaking, stargazing, windsurfing, tennis, archery, biking, rock climbing, social-emotional learning, team building and more, packed into eight weeks of camp for three different age groups. June 15- August 5, 2016 , Monday through Friday: 9 AM to 3 PM:

  • Cub Camp (ages 4-6),
  • Grizzly Camp (ages 7-11)
  • Kodiak Camp (ages 12 and up)
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