Our adventures began in May with Doug graduating from San Diego State University with a B.A. in English. He had two ceremonies, one for the entire Arts and Letters College and a smaller one for the English department. CJ was able to join us for the event.

Doug and CJ clowning after the graduation ceremony


CJ had to fly back to New York for work, but the rest of us drove north for a few days at Sequoia National Park. The General Sherman tree is thought to be the largest living thing on Earth. It is 274.9 feet tall, 102.6 feet in circumference, and contains 52,500 cubic feet of wood. The sequoias are not pretty. Many have burn scars at their bases and many are broken off at the top, as is the General Sherman. But they are awesome, especially in groups.

Doug and Gail at the base of the General Sherman tree Doug and Gail at the base of the General Sherman tree


The sequoias grow on the sides of mountains. Moro Rock is a granite dome sticking out of the mountain side. We climbed stairs 300 feet to the summit and then looked down thousands of feet into the valley on either side. The picture on the left shows a wider spot in the stairs. The picture on the right shows Moro Rock from a distance.

Doug and Gail at the base of the General Sherman tree Doug and Gail at the base of the General Sherman tree


Less than 48 hours after we returned home from California, Gail flew to Ecuador to spend a month teaching English. I joined her at the end of her classes and we visited the Galápagos Islands.

Our visit to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands