Patriarch Grove “inhabitant”


Patriarch Grove

We enjoyed a short hike and time among the many grand old thousand year old bristlecone pine trees at the Patriarch Grove. Wind blown sand had weathered away the outer bark at the base of some of these high altitude trees.

The living portion of these ancient trees is amazing. Tenacity personified. The dead snags, have color, texture, grace and form, that make them interesting as well. Even the dead snags of these long lived, slow growing trees can last hundreds of years.

After our visit at the Patriarch Grove, we headed back the way we came on the White Mountain Road, and left the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. We then headed toward Nevada on California highway 168. We picked up Nevada highway 266; cut over to highway 95; then headed up north through Goldfield, Nevada to Tonopah. We both love driving back roads.

MAP of Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest roads and trails:
www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/10383000046/
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Ancient Bristlecone Pine road trip: October 2013.
My wife and took a week traveling from our home in Eastern Washington to Utah, where we celebrated our granddaughter’s first birthday (The big number ONE). We stayed at Ontario, Oregon; Winnemucca, Nevada; Reno, Nevada; Bishop, California, and Ely, Nevada on our way to Utah.

The weather improved as the week progressed and as we headed farther and farther south. We had hopes to visit: Steens Mountain (a revisit for me and a first visit for my wife); cross Sonora Pass (a first for both of us); cross Tioga Pass through Yosemite NP (a first for my wife and a repeat for me); and most of all visit the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest near Bishop, California (a first visit for both of us).

STEENS MOUNTAIN: We were told at Burns, Oregon that fresh snow would prevent us from getting up high in the Steens Mountain. A hotel employee at French Glen didn’t know if we could make it up or not . We asked a hunter and he had been up the south loop road and thought we would have no problem getting up to the summit ridge. Finally we just decided to give it a go and get as far as we could. We made it to Kiger Gorge lookout and then up the summit ridge for a mile or so. The views were spectacular but the wind blew hard and cold up on top. The aspen were not out in full color and may not peak this year as they are supposed to the last of September and first of October..but the landscapes were still magnificent and I’m really glad my wife got to see the area.

SONORA PASS: We wanted to cross Sonora Pass- west to east and then cross back east to west over the Sierras over Tioga Pass (which runs through Yosemite NP). After checking to make certain that we could drive Tioga – – we did just that. We crossed both passes. My wife and I loved the east side of Sonora Pass. It is steep, with tight turns, and outstanding autumn color and landscape views. Warning signs told folks not to try the pass towing a trailer but of course one tourist did and the wife was directing traffic around their rig (almost blocking both lanes), while her husband tried to correct the mess they were in and the mess they had created.

TIOGA PASS: It was sobering to see the fire damage caused by the Rim forest fire, seen on the national news and to see the monuments to two fire fighters, who died fighting other California wild fires, at one of the Rim Fire overlooks.

We were handed a flyer at the entrance to Yosemite on the Tioga Pass highway, which advised that though the road was open to travel, we were not to pull over, get out, hike, or do anything else other than "drive through". That seemed a bit severe to me, but we were glad to be able to drive the beautiful pass.

The farther we got from the west entrance the more people we saw pulling over at least briefly to take photographs. Turns out, no such warning was delivered at the east entrance to the park, so everybody was having a good time heading west. I won’t tell you whether all my photos were "out the window – drive by shootings (photographs) OR whether I caught the "spirit" of the "heading west" group and pulled over from time to time. But, those of you, who know me, should have little trouble guessing what I did.

ANCIENT BRISTLECONE PINE FOREST: Loved it! Have to go back! Great place to camp! Excellent hiking! Interesting!!!! The folks that ran Ancient Bristlecone Pines, really did a nice job. The visitors’ center was closed and the campground said "closed" but they allowed at least one tent camper to be camping there, and all the roads and trails were open. We only hiked a couple of miles but enjoyed the sights a lot.

These photographs are from this six day "road trip". Very little hiking, just a lot of fun back road driving with many enjoyable stops along the way. Mr. & Mrs. Oldmantravels 12 October 2013.

Posted by oldmantravels on 2013-10-24 23:07:44

Tagged: , Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Big Pine , California Bishop , California White Mountain Road Nevada back road travel Nevada highway 168 Above timberline , Big Pine, California , Bishop, California , Nevada highway 168 , White Mountains Nevada , White Mountain Road , Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest California , California highway 168 , California back road travel , Nevada highway 266

amazing weather images – Patriarch Grove “inhabitant” #Weather #Images

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