|AT 9000' IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS LOOKING ACROSS TO THE SIERRAS 35 AIR MILES AWAY|
Tuesday we drove to Schulman Grove in the Bristlecone Pine Forest to see some of the oldest trees in the world. The alkaline dolomite, the high altitude, the cold winters and drought like summers are some of the reasons that the bristlecone pines are so old. They grow very slowly and the wood is extremely dense, plus they don't grow close together so wildfires can't go very far, there is not enough fuel. The oldest tree here is over 5000 years old which means that it germinated about 3000 b.c. We did not take the long hike to see the oldest tree but instead took the Discovery Trail where we saw trees that were about 3000 years old. We had to hike up a mountain side and at 10,000 feet it seemed like we were hiking Mt Everest.
When I was a botanist for the forest service I used to be up and down trails like this all the time without blinking an eye, but at 71 years old... I was blinking in disbelief at how a one mile hike seemed more like a 10 mile hike. I was hoping to see some marmots but not a one appeared.
|Snow in the bark of the tree.|
Yesterday we stopped at Eric Schat's Bakkery to fuel up for an excursion up the eastern side of the sierras towards Lake Sabrina. This bakery has been an institution in Bishop for many many years and it used to be called Ed Schat's but has now been passed down to his son Eric. Good sheepherders bread and excellent sandwiches as well as coffee and danish, cookies, or home made doughnuts.
|At 8000' in the Eastern Sierras looking across to the White Mountains|
The air was cold and crisp, and there was a wind blowing through down to the lake, so we bundled up and painted for a couple of hours and then we took a lunch break before packing up to return home to the rv. As you can see from the photo, winter is still hanging on up here at 8500'. No masterpieces were produced but the experience was invigorating.