Note: Sorry for the long gap between posts. Will do my best to infill.
After essential stops in Bishop--the bookstore, the art supply store, the thrift store, and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Gallery--S and I forayed further east to the ancient bristlecone pine forest in the White Mountains, at over 10,000 feet. We hiked the 4.5-mile Methuselah Trail, aside of which grow weather-sculpted, dolomite-fed trees more than 3,000, or 4,000 years old. Couldn't figure out which in particular was the Methuselah (the oldest living thing in the world), but mountain bluebirds were numerous, gorgeous, and the bird-of-the-year were in an especially plaintive, begging mode.
Before we left, I rambled up, up, up the dirt road that runs toward Mt. White the Patriarch Grove. On the way, I passed the jeep trail that sluices down Wyman Canyon into the learned Deep Springs Valley (at one point, we could see the strikingly green ranch from the Methuselah Trail). Between the hike, a long-ish run yesterday, the elevation, and the hills, it was a bit of a huffer at times (have I made this term up?). I climbed to the next hurrah-of-a-view of the Sierra, its long spine veiled in haze, and heat--over 100 degrees down in Owens Valley, but only mid-80s up high. Then, I turned myself around and lurched gradually back down.
We were low on gas and water when we departed, but hardly had to used the accelerator as we dropped over 6,000 feet in about 24 miles. Refueled, and bought orange Gatorades, in the little town of Big Pine.
8+ mi, 60 min; Out and back on Mt. White Road from the Schulman Grove; + 4.5 mi hike
Also: A short article out today in HCN about a prehistoric spearhead find: Case in point