Mid-afternoon on Sunday we turned East at Big Pine to visit the Bristle Cone Pines. These are the oldest living things on earth, one tree on the 4 mile loop is estimated at over 4,000 years. We did the short loop and saw trees only 2000 or so years old. ; )
Most are like these with a dead portion and a living portion. In some of the pictures you will see the white dolomite in the soil. There is speculation that this contributes to the long life and also the concrete like nature of the dead wood.
Look carefully in the lower right corner of the pic for Priscilla, Baily, Emma, and Nina...
The trail crew had a creative way of protecting switchbacks. There were maybe three of these rock piles on a short section of the trail. I wonder how many are still in place at the end of winter.
An old giant guards the trail at dusk.