California. Bristlecone oldies.


As you might have figured, we like trees. So far we’ve seen the highest and the biggest ones on our trip. Now it’s time for the oldest ones. If you zoom in on the map between Yosemite and Death Valley you’ll see place names like Big Pine and Lone Pine – those are the gateways to ancient pine forests up in the mountains.

        Trying to make an inverter work to be able to charge the laptop. No luck this time. 

               Mountain of Light Gallery in Bishop showing Galen Rowell photography. 


Welcoming committee in Big Pine
On our way to the Bristlecone Pines

Bristlecone pines are relatively short, with twisted growth and a couple of bigger branches. When you look at the forest you’ll either think it’s really young or completely dead, depending on the trees in your field of vision. Actually they just grow really slow and keep growing even if they lose most of their needles. The oldest trees are guessed to be over 4500 years old!

The seniors home for trees is located high in the mountains and although a lot of people we asked, were doubtful if the road is open – it was open! We made our way up the hills enjoying the views and getting excited until we had to stop. Not because of the trees, but because the snow got too deep for our car. You’ve got to work with what you have so we just hiked up from where we were and still got a lot of good views on the trees. We might have actually seen the oldest tree, because it’s location is kept a secret! You never know, right!

No wonder the park isn’t open yet. But we went anyway!


Desert in the valley, snow up top. 

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