Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living things in the world, and the largest group of Bristlcone Pines are high in the White Mountains on the eastern side of Owens Valley. (View a map of the area towards the bottom of my first story in this series.)
These trees grow best in harsh conditions where it’s hard for other species to compete with them:
A hike around the Methuselah Grove, where the oldest of the old trees lives, is like a visit to God. If ever there were a real temple or church, this is it.
Methuselah itself is not identified by the Forest Service (the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is part of Inyo National Forest). This lack of specific identification is intended to protect Methuselah, the oldest of all living things, from vandalism and souvenir hunters.
But hiking on the trail around the Methuselah Grove, I felt sentience — ancient, sleepy, wise — and that the eyes of the old ones were upon me: