“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 that's famous for a "drive-thru" hole carved into its trunk after a massive storm toppled the mighty tree.
 
The tree shattered when it went down Jan. 8, 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 to allow tourists to pass through, though it weakened the giant. The tunnel had allowed cars to pass, but only pedestrians could cross in recent decades.
 
Generations of locals and tourists have visited the tree, posing for photos and carving their names into it, and after it fell, many took to social media, posting their memories of the tree.
 
"It's kind of like someone in the family has died," said Joyce Brown, a 65-year-old retired middle school teacher who has been visiting the tree since she was 12 and owns a cabin in nearby Arnold.
 
Brown said four generations of her family spent countless hours at the tree and often took out-of-town visitors there, some 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 as a kid in the 1990s.
 
"I remember I was walking through the tree and thinking, 'I'm 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, who grew up on a farm in Virginia and now lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He recently visited the tree again, reliving those memories.
 
"I feel like it's part of my personal history. So it's a bummer to see it go," he said.
 
John Ripper, a 55-year-old printer in Northville, Michigan, said he and his wife visited the tree in May 2015.
 
"I was blown away," Ripper said. "I've 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 massive and sturdy-looking tree was felled by a storm.
 
"In the blink of an eye, it's gone," he said. "There's this giant tree everyone remembers, and it's going to be laying there in plain sight, the dead giant."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 97 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How could a car fit through a tree?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (28)
  • parkerz-cel
    1/18/2017 - 08:45 a.m.

    Well if the cars width is smaller than the width of a tree then the car could obviously fit. If the tree has a hole in the base of it, and has enough nutrients to stay healthy and strong, then it is safe for the car to enter. People are freaking out because the tree was so big and sturdy, yet it got brought down by a not so necessarily big storm.

    • jaredg-hei
      2/03/2017 - 10:30 a.m.

      I like all the info you put in it

    • williaml1-hei
      2/03/2017 - 01:40 p.m.

      I can agree with your statement because you explained how big the hole would have to be like i did.

  • peytonw-cel
    1/20/2017 - 09:56 a.m.

    Because this huge tree was carved in to. This tree is becoming a tourist sight because of the drive-thru. Carvers carved the tree big enough for people to drive through it for a cool experience. They can now say they have driven through a tree. But the tree is dead now from a storm that passed by.

  • kaileew-ste
    1/20/2017 - 11:13 a.m.

    A giant sequoia in California had a big whole in the middle of it called the "drive-through hole". This was brought down recently due to a storm. Fans of this tree remember their first time visiting it and mourn over the loss.

  • zakrym-ste
    1/20/2017 - 12:43 p.m.

    Well this sucks. I wanted to go drive through that sometime. I guess not anymore. lol

  • monicas-ste
    1/20/2017 - 02:11 p.m.

    That really sucks. It looked so awesome too. I hope they plant another tree in it's place.

  • annakatep-cel
    1/23/2017 - 11:19 a.m.

    Cars fit through the tree because someone carved a giant whole through the middle of it. This sort of lead to the death of the tree by weakening it so that when the storm the destroyed it came, it was not strong enough to stand through the wind and rain.

    • williaml1-hei
      2/03/2017 - 01:43 p.m.

      I agree but it would be better if you explained how big the hole would have to be.

    • alexk2-hei
      2/03/2017 - 01:49 p.m.

      I agree because without the hole it's core would have been stronger so it could have stood up to the storm.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT