We visited the White Mountains in California today, where you can find the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. These Bristlecones are the oldest living things in the world and there is one tree that is an alleged 4750 years old!
The tree here is not quite that old and you can see it has struggled. I found this tree up at 11,000 (!) feet elevation after a 12 mile drive on a dirt track. I needed to go into 4-wheel drive mode to navigate the steep trails, quite exhilarating and not something I had done for a long time. To my delight, Linda thought it was just fantastic, never having done this before.
Our drive was rewarded with some of the most spectacular scenic views ever. It is so beautiful up there. I was not kidding on the elevation. The visitor’s center is at 10,500 feet and is where most visitors stop. There is another grove about 12 miles further on and only accessible via that dirt road. It took about 45 minutes to get there.
This tree was still alive even if part of it had died. It clearly struggles to survive in this challenging environment, but very beautiful.