This is a view of Moro Rock. It is an iconic part of the Sequoia National Park only 45 minutes east of Visalia, CA off Route 198.

Sequoia National Park, located just 45 miles east of Visalia, California provides a multitude of attractions. Today’s article is about the trip to Moro Rock.

We traveled to Sequoia National Park on a perfect day in the central valley of California. In early November, temperatures dip into the low to mid 40’s during the night time and usually the 60’s during the day. Today it was close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the valley. In the mountains, it was around 50 degrees, which was quite pleasant.


Just a forty-five minute drive east from Visalia, California, we ascended the grade incline of CA Route 198 to the park entrance. We had picked an incredibly beautiful, sunlit day to visit the park. There was almost no traffic and all of whom we did meet, especially the park rangers were all friendly, outspoken, and cordial.

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Here is the front entrance to Sequoia National Park. It was the perfect day to go. There was almost no traffic.

There are so many different attractions at the Sequoia National Park this author recommends picking only one or two at a time to enhance the enjoyment of the experience in nature.

Depending on one’s travel schedule and how much time may be available, it is recommended to visit the link mentioned above and plan the trip carefully. From May through September of each year expect high visitor turnout to the park.

From Visalia on east there are various places to stay. There are also many restaurants to visit along the way. In fact, there are hotels located in the park, as well.


Needless to say, there are so many vista points and lay-by’s along the way only a couple will be reviewed in this article for brevity. Do pick a clear day to visit if picture-taking is one of your intentions during the visit. Depending on weather there can be many days where there is haze. Especially, as afternoon and early evening approaches one may find photo sessions to not be very effective. Consequently, earlier in the morning after the sun is over the mountains is the best time to take videos and photo snapshots.

If one has the time, pick one day to just drive completely through the park northward. Some of the roads do get very winding so make sure the driver is able to handle the task. From the CA Route 198 entrance in Tulare County, the road will finally head north until one reaches the park end in Fresno County at Kings Canyon National Park.

For those who can plan for a longer stay at the park, there are vacation rentals where one may stay, as well. Make reservations well in advance to preclude unfortunate outcomes.


As we passed the welcome center to the park, we made the right turn and headed for Moro Rock. The road and the incline became more of an issue. At some points the road had to wind past ancient sequoias, as well as, accommodate some rocky outcroppings. The trees and views were constantly alluring by nature. In a couple of places where curves were rather extreme, one had to take it very slow because the width of the road could barely allow two automobiles to pass, much less any larger vehicles.

Finally, we made it to the parking area. Of course, the rest of the trip was to be made on foot. Certainly, it must be noted that anyone with any respiratory, heart or mobility issues would not be able to continue farther.


Once we parked the vehicle, we looked to the right. Then, we looked up. And up. And up. We were going to climb that thing? Well, it is why we came. It was time to conquer. At the base of the escarpment there were ample signs in sealed displays to educate one on the discovery and history of Moro Rock. Some of it is provided here and in some image captions. It was discovered in 1858. Explorer Hale Tharp, with the help of two native Americans made the official discovery.


Before we started the climb, we did some reading from the displays provided. The history is amazing. In addition, how one who lives nearby can not be moved or at least interested in Sequoia National Park and its attractions.

Notably, above and below are some of the amazing photos of the incredible climb. Yes, the weather can be quite a factor, as mentioned earlier. Notably, one must always be prepared. Always, dress for it and be sure to carry enough water for the adventure.


No, the climb is not a short nor easy one for many to endure. Do pay attention to any health issues. At a few points, there are places to catch one’s breath. But, there are not many. This author did notice a few who may had been pushing it.

Finally, we were getting close to the summit, but not yet.


The arduous trek upward continued, but, without the determination on our parts, we struck forward with a vengeance. We would not be denied our resolve at summit success.

No way. Every time we thought we had made it, we were thwarted. Period. There was not way to see how far we had climbed the escarpment. But, we would soon have our answer.


Truly, there was not way to know our degree of advancement up this granite rock until we got there. No way.


So, we finally made it. And, with only a couple of stops along the way to catch our breaths, the view was incredible!

We took a long look around. It was majestic beauty in the finest! At this altitude one may not notice the air was thinner, but when moving around more than usual, especially climbing, one can tell the difference.


While at the summit, we had the opportunity to meet other visitors from other lands. Notably, we met two outstanding couples. One couple hailed from Israel and the other from Italy. We helped each other take pictures instead of resorting to selfies.

The hobnobbing and taking pictures of such scenic views of breathtaking terrain was really worth the trip. But, then there was the trip back down to the parking area. Rest assured, it was much easier than the ascent.


The trip back to the Sequoia National Park parking area was actually a welcome relief. It seemed like it took no time at all to return. But, it was still important to remember to be careful. One careless trip or misstep could be catastrophic.

Once back at the parking area we bad a farewell to our new international friends. They were on whirlwind trips to see as much of the United States as possible. Both couples were cramming as much in as possible. Example: One couple was heading from Sequoia National Park to Death Valley in the same day!


As mentioned previously, there was more haze about in the afternoon. Therefore, taking good pictures became problematic. However, this was an unusually clear day so please enjoy the following photos.

For those who are new traveling to the park, there are many vista points where one may stop.


For those who have some time after visiting Sequoia National Park, do take a few moments to stop at Kaweah Dam. It is one of the largest earthen dams in the United States.

This author hopes everyone has enjoyed reading this pictorial-based article. One will not regret visiting Sequoia National Park.

Written By: Ed Smith

UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for our contributing authors. This article was produced being mostly unedited. We do not claim credit; we simply want to make it more available to the general public. The opinions of the authors are not necessarily the opinion or stance of this website.

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World Ag Expo 50th Anniversary at the Heritage Complex grounds covered over two million acres! The 2017 event was the best ever accomplished.

What a day to visit the 50th annual Tulare County World Ag Expo! The central valley of California has experienced one of the wettest rain seasons in known history. The timing could not have been better to arrive at the grounds on a misty, crisp morning early on Wednesday, February 15th. Not only was it beneficial for parking close to a main gate, it had dried out to where we were not immersed in people and mud. The snow-capped Sierra mountains were barely visible upon arrival, yet, by mid-afternoon they were clearly visible, which will be seen at article’s end.

So, the day begins. As an antecedent, we arrived one week early, by accident, as mentioned on the previous article. Upon an oops arrival, it was decided to enjoy the ambiance and rich history of this incredible breadbasket of the world the International Agri-Center has provided for the public to enjoy for only donations. Of course, the annual World Ag Expo did require a paltry entry admission, which was gladly forked over. What many people do not realize is much of the funds gathered by the facility goes right back into the county for schools and community services.

World Ag Expo Banner 2017

Since arriving early to the event, we stood in line for a while, awaiting entry onto the grounds. It was a great time to interact and commiserate with not only attendees, but with some exhibitors, as well. The Expo staff actually approached us with stamps for our forehands indicating our paid status, in case we needed to leave, temporarily before returning to the grounds. Since it was a bit cool, some staff members were offering coffee and hot chocolate drinks for us to enjoy, at no charge. What a deal! Everyone was quite jovial and we met some nice and interesting people. Security was in existence, yet, I was rather amazed at how well they kept a low-profile and quiet demeanor.

The World Ag Expo began in 1968.

With the following images, please click on any one of them to start a clickable gallery of pictures:

Once we entered the gates, the extravaganza began! Which way to go, which way to go, was the first thoughts on mind. Left was chosen in anticipation of not being left out (pun intended). What a spectacle to behold as we all walked in amazement at the displays, exhibits, pavilions, and buildings amassed in the sprawling grounds. As the morning grew into midday, we were all blessed with the incredibly great weather break from recent storms and rainfall (no complaints and disdain for those who do). Are we out of a drought, could be, yet no one in the central valley should ever be upset with moisture from rainfall or water flow.

Well, there is some valid complaints I can think of during any harvest. There are raisins drying in the sun, cotton ready for ginning at the wrong time…oh my, I could open a number of situations from here on…not to worry, I caught myself in the nick of time from getting too far off topic…however, all above issues can be relevant to the best farmers, ranchers, and dairymen this valley has ever known. I must say this again, for the record. The world is blessed beyond belief, at the hard work, multi-generational, and diligent realization of what agriculture means to everyone living here and in the world. These gifted individuals know this and so should everyone else. Because of what they know, learn, and teach, we are all better off, as they apply all resources to grow more with less every year. We. too, should be examples of how not only to conserve, but to apply our residential wiles to conservation and recycling efforts, where applicable.

There, I just got off my stump for recognition and conservation. I am blessed with those who, as mentors, enabled me to understand, especially in community and regional activities to give back where I can.

Please click on any of the images below to start a clickable gallery where you can exit at any time to return to the article. These are some of the sites seen and enjoyed. Thank goodness for the trams offered to see the grounds…the most ever:

Next on the voyage, I first stopped by the Toyota booth where they were raffling a new vehicle for $5 per ticket. I didn’t win, but it was for a great cause; Valley Children’s Hospital. I met more friends and acquaintances over the many years of life in Tulare County. At the International Business Center (shown above) I saw Ryan Purkiss, who is the Present Rotary president for the Visalia Sunset club. The reception for Ag Expo attendees was very well done. I was able to visit with other Rotary friends who were busy attending to the crowds. Ryan said all five Visalia Rotary clubs and both Tulare clubs had combined resources together to provide the amenities for everyone to enjoy. It was a pleasant respite from the crowds to enjoy the food and drinks there. Then I saw another friend of many years, Dr. Larry Stoneburner. He has been a mainstay in multi-county community service for as long as I can remember:

Then, I was on the hunt to say hello to Ray Appleton of KMJ 580 AM Radio, known as KMJNOW. I first visited the Heritage Complex media center because I had failed to listen closely enough when Ray said from where he would be broadcasting during the three-day event. The management and staff were most accommodating and pointed to the Case Exhibit not too far away. I mention this because I wanted to give kudos to all who participated in this fantastic 50th anniversary event! The staff members commented how fortunate they were that KMJ and Ray Appleton were participating, as they have done for years.

Since I lived in the Las Angeles area, I started travelling on business in the central California valley. This was where I first listened to KMJ radio. They are known as Radio City (Fresno, CA). Also known as the blow-torch of the valley, it broadcasts over 50,000 Watts of power. It can be heard from the western coastal areas to as far south as the Grapevine heading south over the mountains to southern California. It is also heard as far east as the Sierra mountain chain to as far north approaching Sacramento. By the way, KMJ streams worldwide so do listen when you can.

Finally, we made our way to where Ray was broadcasting from his booth at the Case Exhibit. On a personal note, I wanted to state, for the record a little bit about Ray Appleton, from my experiences. For many years past, when I was reaching out to the community in association with area education, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce, and two Rotary Clubs, Visalia Sunset and then Woodlake, I would sometimes see Ray. He is a huge believer in community welfare activities, whether it ranges from business to one of his favorite organizations, the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Over the years, his passion for politics has found him in contact with past presidents of the United States, including President Trump, where he just returned from the 115th Congressional State of the Union address. He also provides a venue for any and all political entities who care to share with the public with local, state, and federal actions and activities. His candor for being honest, to the point, yet quite humanistic to everyone with whom he has contact is well-known for the last thirty years. Obviously, I have a keen respect for Ray and I am glad to just have the contact I have over the years, inclusive of periodic call ins to the radio station to chat on various subjects. To note, 2017 begins his 30th year of broadcasting. The management and staff of KMJ 580 AM Radio are honoring Ray with the 30th Anniversary Bash to be held at the Fresno Fairground on May 20th, beginning at 2 pm. There will be many festivities to enjoy. I certainly plan to attend!

To end this segment, it was great to see Ray during one of his brief breaks at the bottom of the hour. When I had arrived, almost no one was hanging around, yet, by the time Ray generously took a few moments to chat, some important-looking people were showing up. From experience, I knew this would become part of his show so after the above photo-op, I knew it was time to go. Was I ever so right, as I was listening in some major issues had arisen where, as usual, he was taking the ‘bull by the horns’. Although brief, this was a memorable visit.

As the day moved along, the plethora of tractor-driven coaches were an absolute blessing. There were so many of them some actually had to stop and wait for the one in front. It was such an easy start and stop operation, we were able to see all of what we chose to see. As the afternoon waned into later day, the crowds were still growing! The air was filled with sounds of people speaking in many different languages and the smells of different cuisines wafted and seemed to follow as I walked along the various ‘roads’ in the two-million acre layout.

In closing, I want to leave everyone concerned, the Heritage Complex management and staff, exhibitors, broadcasters, concessionaires, maintenance, and just plain, nice visitors a huge, heart-felt thank you. This was a most unforgettable event so fitting for the 50th Annual World Ag Expo, hosted by the International Agri-Center and Heritage Complex.

As promised at the beginning of the article, here are some pictures during exit:






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World Ag Expo Display

It is time for the 50th annual WORLD AG EXPO for 2017!

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World Ag Expo Display

Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families arrive to experience the 3-day event from all around the world each year. Since 1968 the county of Tulare, nestled in the heart of the breadbasket of the United States, and the world, has hosted this event.

The exposition is spread over two million acres of land, just off Laspina Street east of Tulare city proper. Here are some snapshots of the preparation process. Please click on any picture below to start a clickable slide show:

Well, here is a little nugget for all to enjoy. Although, when I was more active in the area community, I had visited the Heritage Center, as well as, the previous World Ag Expos. With some errant information received, we arrived at the center a week early! This, I now consider a boon for the public and me, because I had not seen the updated AgVenture Learning Center and Museum for years. I was totally surprised at the professional displays donated (some recently) by area farms, farmers, and notable families who have been so generous.

Please remember, as I mentioned before, these farm and ranch families have been dedicated to providing quality staples to the world. They are venerated in many of the museum displays seen below. Also, please understand, these families have been instrumental in supplying much of the people of planet earth with the best and freshest of food and clothing known to man. Yes, it happens, right here, every day. The cotton farming alone is known for the best quality grown in the entire world.

Another most important thing to know is we residents, government officials, and staff members in this locale, understand and know how important these activities are for our survival now, and in the future.

The following photos can be viewed in a slide show, clickable gallery above and below with one click of a picture:

There is so much more to come in a future article…after I get it right and arrive on time and on the right day for this awesome event. Chuckle and a slight guffaw is in order. What a wonderful place it is in which we live. I cannot say enough how much I love this part of the state and its people. Notwithstanding, I get the best produce from strawberries, plums, fruits, vegetables, milk, and beef right here in the central California valley.

To all farmers and ranchers, some of whom I know, you are so appreciated.

Stars and Stripes Display standard outside complex


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NASA Video of 3 UFOs

The NASA live feed video from the International Space Station was interrupted shortly after 3 fast moving objects were noticed leaving the earth at great speed, as they headed out to space.

Of course, conspiracy theorists and some YouTube video makers were challenging and pointing fingers at NASA saying they deliberately stopped the live streaming video because of this event. They also claimed this was absolute proof that we are not alone and are being visited by extraterrestrials. After two days of observing and reviewing some of these statements and videos claiming this is proof that aliens exist, as well as, NASA information, it was time to create this article. My concern is the apparent source of one of the videos. And, yes, many are now claiming disclosure is definitely not too distant in the future.

Well, that may be so, but there is concern that in the rush to make all this news, some other factors may have been overlooked? One of the most important things that comes to mind of late is that we had quite a coronal mass ejection (CME) that washed over earth this past week from the sun. This is different than a solar flare. There have been Internet and satellite relays that have been affected, albeit, temporarily. To be fair to NASA in this case of possible ‘bugs’ in the hardware and software, worldwide, should be considered. They did have more than one live feed failure. Now, on the objective side, with the present technology we have improving and upgrading now, daily, could this not really be an observation of actual space-faring craft leaving earth for space? This author’s opinion, from experience is, perhaps. The objects behaved in no way like any natural phenomena, hence, possible spacecraft.

Please click on the link below to view this video of NASA tracking an object leaving earth at great speed courtesy of the Mirror, London, United Kingdom:

Please click on the link below of the 3 objects leaving earth to space at great speed, also courtesy of the Mirror:

Please note the disparity of the two videos. What now, is the observation? Is it possible, noting from the different trajectories of one of the ‘objects’ of three in question, could it not have been missiles launched into space by some country(s) from earth? 

It is no secret that the International Space Station (ISS) has had numerous UFO sightings over the years and so many have been explained away as debris floating inside the space station in front of the video to debris outside the station that has been left as space debris (from previous launches) or something that was emitted from the station structure, whether accidental or not. Now, we may have actual proof of intelligently-driven space craft leaving the earth to some unknown destination? And, it may not be that far away?

The recent polls taken from around the world over the last few years have shown that more than 50% of people believe we are being visited, have been visited, and will be visited, again. This percentage is increasing, yearly. It may now be approaching over 60% of those polled, which is a significant majority. Is there the possibility of real disclosure in the near future?

What do you think?

[yop_poll id=”6″]

Universal Digest

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