On my second day at Great Basin National Park last fall, I decided to hike up to see the Bristlecone pines. It might not have been the wisest decision since I was fresh from Wisconsin where high altitude areas are absent. My body was not acclimated. However, my desire to see them was so great, I believe my passion carried me up. I also carried plenty of water and took breaks to ensure I would make it. My pack included art supplies as well. My plan was to make a painting that afternoon.
On arrival to the Bristlecone grove, my plans quickly changed, as the dark clouds which I had seen above, broke loose with hail. It was small hail but not the ideal conditions in which to paint. I took as many pictures as I could to have a record of my first viewing. Since reading of these trees in the book, “Ancient Trees” in 1999, I knew I wanted to one day visit them, to see trees as old as 4000 years or more. It was a dream come true and felt really blessed to be in their presence.
I admire their strength and durability in difficult, harsh conditions. In the book of Job, we are told to look to nature as our teachers. I think they are very wise teachers for they endure through what would seem perhaps endless, hopeless circumstances. One can have confidence we can do the same, if the Bristlecone can.