“Drive-thru” sequoia brought down by storm California State Parks Supervising Ranger Tony Tealdi pauses by the roots of the fallen Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Arnold, Calif. Famous for a "drive-thru" hole carved into its trunk, the giant sequoia was toppled over by a massive storm. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli/Michael Brown via AP)
“Drive-thru” sequoia brought down by storm
Lexile

Fans are mourning a giant sequoia in California. It is famous for a "drive-thru" hole carved into its trunk. A huge storm toppled the mighty tree.
 
The tree shattered when it went down Jan. 8. That is what Calaveras Big Trees State Park volunteer Jim Allday said.
 
"It was majestic," he said. "Now it's basically a pile of rubble."
 
A tunnel was carved into the tree's trunk in the 1880s. It allowed tourists to pass through. It weakened the giant. The tunnel used to let cars pass. But only pedestrians crossed in recent decades.
 
Generations of locals and tourists have visited the tree. They posed for photos and carved their names into it. After it fell, many took to social media, posting their memories of the tree.
 
"It is kind of like someone in the family has died," said Joyce Brown. She is a 65-year-old retired middle school teacher. She has been visiting the tree since she was 12. She owns a cabin in nearby Arnold.
 
Brown said four generations of her family spent a lot of hours at the tree. They often took out-of-town visitors there. Some of those visitors came from as far away as Turkey.
 
"Everyone who went there was shocked at how big a tree could be," she said. "As a child you think you had come to a land of giants, that there must be giant people and giant animals living there because of the diameter of these trees."
 
Sumner Crawford remembers every detail of his first visit to the tree. He first saw it as a child in the 1990s.
 
"I remember I was walking through the tree and thinking, 'I am inside of the tree right now!'" he said. "It was madness."
 
He was stunned by the sequoia's size. When his family of four tried to join hands around the tree, they discovered they couldn't even come close.
 
"It was so different and so odd," said Crawford. He grew up on a farm in Virginia. He now lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He recently visited the tree again. He relived those memories.
 
"I feel like it is part of my personal history. So it is a bummer to see it go," he said.
 
John Ripper is a 55-year-old printer in Northville, Michigan. He said he and his wife visited the tree in May 2015.
 
"I was blown away," Ripper said. "I have traveled to 70 countries. But that particular tree and being able to walk underneath it and touch it was quite a memorable moment. And something I won't soon forget."
 
Ripper said he can't believe such a huge and sturdy-looking tree was felled by a storm.
 
"In the blink of an eye, it is gone," he said. "There's this giant tree everyone remembers. And it is going to be laying there in plain sight. The dead giant."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How could a car fit through a tree?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (77)
  • marianav-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:08 p.m.

    I think so. They are also really dangers. Also it is hurts. I think it is green.

  • vanessar-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:10 p.m.

    It could fit inside a tree because the tree was carved into its trunk big enough to fit a car. And even a huge storm toppled the mighty tree as well. The tunnel was carved into the tree's trunk in 1880's. it wash also a giant sequoia tree.

  • johns3-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:11 p.m.

    A car could fit in a tree by cutting it like they did to the big giant. If it became to small they would cut it again. That's how the giant got weakened and fell. Now the giant is just a big pile of wood.

  • miguele-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:12 p.m.

    The car can fit through the giant soquoya tree because they cut through it and that was famous for that. A tunnel was carved into the trees trunk in the 1880's.

  • brittanym-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:12 p.m.

    It's cool that people go to the forest to have a picnic. I never had a picnic. Not even in the forest. I mean walking in the dirty mud when it rained. And I had been to a forest no much a forest but a tiny one.

  • robertoh1-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:13 p.m.

    A car can fit though the tree trunk because of giant hole in the trunk that what it is famous for. When Joyce brown family carved though the tree to fit a car she said it was amazing. The "drive-thu '' tree was famous because of it giant hole that can fit a car.

  • amayah-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:21 p.m.

    A car could fit through a tree because someone had carved out a square hole that goes through the tree. Now some people that have cars go through the tree and look at it.

  • isaach3-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:21 p.m.

    It was a tunnel that was carved in the 1880s. it was a majestic and it was such a beautiful thing and it had to be brought back into when it was a little sprout it was a sad thing to see go down by lightning. The cars can fit through a tree because they are hollow inside the stump

  • chelseyb-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:31 p.m.

    Because the storm made a deep hole in the tree. The hole is big enough for a car to fit. Even people cross the tree under.

  • arelyd-san
    1/17/2017 - 05:34 p.m.

    How can a car fit through a tree ? Some people might think that it can't be it can . It can because in paragraph 4 it said that a tunnel was carved in a trees trunk in 18805 .it also allowed tourists to pass through. It also let cars pass through . People may also think that the tunnel may be small but it is big enough to fit a car in it

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