Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ancient Wisdom

Hot HOT Greetings from Mesquite, Nevada!

I'll make it quick since Rox is waiting out in the car. You'll have to wait till tomorrow to see if we stopped in Vegas or not :) Here is yesterday's update!

Map from Easy Breezy Oceanside up to Big Pine, Cali

Stacey waved g'bye and Nick and I were on the first leg of our journey back east!

It's a Choppa' Baby

Lots of desert for several hours of driving.

More Desert and More to Come!

First few glimpses of the Sierra Nevadas there is Snow up in them hills!

Sweeet views, but HOT on the valley floor.

Big Pine creek, looks mighty fine to the hot and dusty traveler.

We found a few campgrounds up here and only one spot open.

It was nice though and much coooler up around 6000 feet!!

Driving on to the Bristlecone forest after camp was reserved.

"The Methusula Tree" is the nickname for the Bristlecone Pine. This tree and it's story has facinated me since I saw a program on Nova on PBS about it a few years ago. These trees are highly specialized in longevity. The Oldest Living Single Organisms on the Planet. This example was 3,200 years old when it died in 1687.

The Bristlecone forest was much more vibrant than I expected and full of thousands of trees. We were at Shermann Grove.

The gnarled and twisted dead parts of this tree may have been this way for a thousand years, the dead wood supports the living green parts and protects it.

One Young Bristlecone, One Old Bristly Nick!

Using the dead wood in this area for core samples, they have recorded history for the last 10,000 years, basically since the last ice age.

Being in the presence of these creatures was invigorating. It was a much nicer day up here than they are used to.

The Bristlecones live high above any other trees. Their soil is rocky. The air is the driest ever recorded anywhere on earth.

They know what other plants do not. This example was most likely over 4,000 years old. The signs do not designate their exact age in order to protect them from us humans...

See how no other tree would show it's face up here? Literally, there are tiny shrubs only up here other than the Bristlecone.

It was so quiet up here, that when not walking or talking, a fly buzzing around was super loud!

The Bristlecones are survivors. They are the single toughest thing pulsing with life that has been around since before the pyramids were built. I admire them, respect them and love the wisdom they teach.

Find places that other plants are too weak to survive in, therefore safe from fire or disease. Endure forces that would kill anything but the rocks on the ground. Grow little in the dry years, grow much when there is plenty, but use patience for the long haul. Among these stoic individuals we do however find contrast and more lessons.

There are sides of the slopes that offer protection from the elements. Soil that is more rich for the roots. A more "desired" spot to grow and prosper... The trees who happen to take root here, will see but a mere fraction of the years. Thier wood is softer and they do not live nearly as long as the true majestic ancients...

Those thats seeds find their way up to the rockiest, windiest, most exposed krags of dolamite, with the least soil and least moisture, they gleam and beam. Their wind-polished twisted trunks and demon fingered branches have reached into the sky victoriously for millenia. They, who have seen the hardest times, dealt with the most pains and chosen to survive where no others would, get to reap thier reward in thousands of years. You see, it is the Elements themselves, the wind, the dry, the rocks which strengthen the wood for endurance, and without the elements, they would remain soft like those in the protected shadow of the cliffs...

Nick and I spent one hour among them. Not even a half of the blink of an eye to them. I was and am in awe. I will for sure be back... 22 miles of gravel roads to the west is the Patriarch Grove. More ancients who are even older. I'd like to find another moment of Ancient Wisdom among their branches.

We say g'bye and head back down the trail.

Lookout to the Sierras

Navi-Nicky working on road choices for the days to come.

Camp is set, Dogs are on the grill and only one cold brew before bed. Great day and really is nice to have Nick with me now on the Trek back to the East and toward that place... what is it called?? I've almost forgotten... Oh yeah, Home.
- A

Just a cool tune, hope you like.


  1. Great job Aaron, have a great time and do not let Nick drive.

  2. Another great post. As always some really great writing to go along with the pics. Wish I could be enjoying the good ol' USA with the cousins.
    Keep them coming. Always look forward to your next post. And say hi to Nick for me.