White Mountains of Eastern California: Home of the Ancient Bristlecone Pines
About 45 minutes from Big Pine on 395, there are two groves of Bristlecone Pines that will blow you away (literally, in fact, since when I was there in August, a severe thunderstorm swept through, complete with hail, lightening, and driving rain).
Some of these trees are more than 4,000 years old, vivid lessons in endurance, tenacity, and true grit.
These trees are perfect examples of why we need to protect our wilderness. They help balance the frenetic pace of our multi-tasking lives and keep us connected to our Earth roots. Go see them. One area is harder to get to, requiring a drive up a dirt road to the Patriarch Grove. The other, the Shulman Grove is more accessible by car, but requires a 4-mile, very beautiful, hike to see the most ancient of the trees. There’s a visitor’s center at Shulman, with helpful rangers and an excellent interpretative film, shown regularly. These trees could change your entire perspective on dealing with obstacles and challenges of life. They are inspiring, and spiritual teachers in their own right.