Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 130: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, CA

So, after a great time in Tahoe with the Ryders, it was time for us to set off.  We originally thought we'd head across Nevada to see Great Basin National Park but, after doing a little research, we discovered that the park was over 7 hours away and very remote.  Also, a lot of the park appears to require a 4-wheel drive vehicle and some of the services had already closed for the season.

What I really wanted to see at Great Basin was the Bristlecone Pine trees.  Turns out there's a grove in California and we had been near it when we were in the Death Valley area!!!  So, in typical fashion, we retraced our steps....

....and it was worth it.  These trees are magnificent.  They grow at 9000+ feet in elevation with hardly any precipitation and some are over 4000 years old!

The wind and elements strip the trees of their bark and erode the soil from around their roots and they still live on.

Some eventually die but even dead they're extremely beautiful.
The White Mountains are in the distance.

Which, by the way, contain the southernmost glaciers in North America!

Glaciers make Angie jump with joy!

After a great morning with the ancient Bristlecones we headed east back into Nevada, which made Willie a bit upset, but we're just passing through on our way to Utah...

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