Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bristlecone Hike

 We headed up to the Wheeler Cirque bristlecone grove after our night of camping this weekend. I had forgotten Desert Girl's backpack, so we tried to get her to walk most of it, and she did walk quite a bit, albeit with frequent bribes. Fortunately Desert Boy has gotten to the point where he's a good hiker and he did well, although we had a few "Are we there yet?" questions. I almost never answer those seriously, so he gets frustrated and stops asking them. I'm not sure if that's good parenting or not, but it works.

Finally we were there, amidst the millenia-old trees. These ancient trees are really mind-blowing. How can something be that old and still be alive? What have they witnessed? How much longer will they continue to live?

 While my husband and the kids were taking about the fortieth snack break of the morning, I wandered off to spend some quiet time with the trees. We hadn't exactly gotten an early start so the light wasn't magical, but with the bristlecones, just being there is magical, no matter the time of day.

 When I'm around bristlecones, I always wonder if they're sentient beings. What do they think about all that has happened around them year after year after year?

 As we continued our hike, we stopped at every sign along the short interpretive trail. Both Desert Boy and Desert Girl enjoyed feeling some of the old wood. Desert Boy liked finding different textures on the same tree.

 The snacks were kicking in and they had revived and were full of boisterous energy as they posed by this 3,000+ year old tree.

 I asked my husband to take the camera so I could get on the other side of the lens with my cute kids.

 I think I could easily spend a whole day just roaming the bristlecone grove and admiring all the shapes.

But the others had different ideas. With the infusion of energy, we decided to hike to the glacier sign, another half-mile or so. Desert Boy and my husband went ahead, and I hiked with Desert Girl, letting her go at her own pace. She knows I won't carry her (except for a rare occasion), so she toddles along.

 She was absolutely adorable touching more trees. We never managed to get her hair done after she woke up from camping, so she's wearing the disheveled look well.

 Those dang sunspots appeared in the photo (maybe due to my filter?). Anyway, I couldn't help but snap a bunch of photos of Desert Girl hiking in such gorgeous scenery.

 Does anyone else see her mischievious side?

 Finally we made it to the sign, where Desert Boy and my husband were waiting. It looks like late July with the amount of snow left.

 Some alpine phlox. We didn't see very many flowers on our hike or even around the campground.

On the way back, we found Ranger Corey. Desert Boy always likes to think up a question for a ranger. This time he asked, "How do glaciers form?" It didn't look like he was paying attention to the answer, but when I asked him the question five minutes later, he remembered almost all of the answer. Hurray!

It was beautiful visiting the bristlecones. Desert Girl hiked over half the distance. We'll have to keep doing hikes and build up our endurance for more adventures this summer.


G. Robison said...

Starting your kids out with exposure to hiking and wild places at this early age is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. I remember backpacking with my family when I was only 4 and those memories have influenced me my entire life.

Anonymous said...

WOW exactly what I got looking for. Arrived here by simply trying to find "Bristlecone Hike"
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Desert Survivor said...

I didn't expect my post to be so high up on a search! For those new to this blog, this hike was in Great Basin National Park, which has several scenic bristlecone groves, including the one that's fairly easy to access shown in this post.

Janille said...

Filters are a pain when it comes to the sun.

I see her mischievous side :D She's so cute!

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