Top menu 2

Way Way up in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo County, California

P1040731


Last week, while we were up in Bishop, California to attend Mule Days, Jonathan and I made a day trip up the Ancient Bristlecone National Forest in the White Mountains to see the oldest living non-clonal organisms in the world.


P1040691


On our drive up to Schulman Grove we stopped to see some other type of pine.


P1040748P1040796


Up at Schulman Grove it was colder than I expected and I didn’t have gloves with me. The metal interpretive signs were surprisingly hot baking in the sun — so I stopped at each one to warm my hands.


P1040841


We started our main hike at 10,000 feet above sea level. It had just snowed that morning and it made everything seem particularly epic. One of my friends on Instagram said it looked Gameofthrones-ish.


P1040842
P1040851


The oldest living tree they have dated in Schulman Grove is over 5,000. It’s the world’s oldest recorded living non-clonal organism. There are also a number of dead trees and some of them have been dated back as far as 12,000 years.

I did some Mitochondrial DNA testing a few years ago, and that was back when some of my ancestors (soon to be Scandinavian vikings) were still living in modern day Turkey. 12,000 years in human history is a really long time ago. But geological time barely blinks.


P1040803


Up close grain of the wood. It can survive with most of it’s bark gone.


P1040836


The interpretive signs said that most of the trees eventually die because erosion uncovers their roots and exposed them to root diseases. In a few thousand years over 2′ of soil may erode due to wind, etc.


P1040811P1040768P1040810P1040777


The needles are surprisingly soft, it was like shaping the hand of a muppet.



P1040795

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

-John MuirP1040853


One of these trees might be the oldest tree they have identified. To protect the tree from vandalism they intentionally don’t mark it, but it is in this area.


P1040704


My husband playing in with snow. He is adorbs.


P1040846

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

-John Muir


And then…. the next day….. we went petroglyph hunting in Red Canyon.

Photos of that next week!


Designed & Developed by BREAKurban