We spent a most incredible afternoon communing with the oldest living things on earth in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest near Big Pine, California. We hiked up into them on a loop trail, stopping for lunch with a view and a few more times for me to catch my breath. Pam and I took at least a million pictures each, something wondrous appearing around every turn.
I'm not able to load any pictures still, so suffice it to say I was blown away with their beauty, their tenacity, and their setting. They stand tall where everything around them is very very small. The grove where they choose to live is at 10,000 feet above sea level, the climate is harsh. They slowly grow where there is no competition. Some of them were 4,000 years old and still beautiful and viable.
The drive up to the Forest would be a fantastic journey on its own. The roads (rt. 168 and then White Mountain Road) are twisty (as in take your Dramamine if you are so inclined), winding and and full of dips that would hide John and Pam's jeep from us until they came up on the other side. The view of the eastern Sierra's, the long, wide, green valley, the volcanic table lands to the north, tantalizing glimpses of the Palisades glacier and the round treeless interior summits of the White Mountains made this drive one to be remembered.
I wish I could show you.
Read John and Pam's blog and they'll show you and tell you all about our day.