After we checked into our room we drove to the end of highway 63 above the Pink Cliffs and walked the 1 mile (1.6 km) Bristlecone Loop trail.
Fir trees dominate the forest here thriving in heavy snow and extreme temperatures.
Out on the point, where soil becomes thin and exposure is more severe bristlecone pines survive.
Bristlecone pines are among the oldest living organisms on earth. The oldest living tree called "Methuselah" is 4,765 years old and lives in a secret location in the White Mountain range of eastern California.
Bristlecones often die one part at a time. When the roots become exposed they dry out and die as does the tree connected above while the remainder of the tree will continue to live.
The tree is also noteworthy because the needles stay on the limb for over 40 years, unlike most other pines, which shed their needles every few years. This is important, because the tree can go through periods when it does not grow at all.
Besides feeling humbled by these ancient trees, the vast millions of years old landscape made me feel very small.
This quote was posted at the overlook. Thoreau said it well.
As the eye-like galleries watched on paying no attention to time.
And the sun shone overhead.