Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yes, Wildbound, There Really Is a Bristlecone Bob

"Bristlecone Bob" Connelly was our park story teller, telling history, geology and a few bear stories. (Does this sound familiar?) He even had the entire group of about 30 singing Home on the Range and America the Beautiful. He was also our Cave Tour Guide. (In a different outfit)
Can you see Cowboy Bob doing this in a few years?

Nature Gallery Great Basin National Park

This is the largest Limber Pine that Trailblazer had ever seen. He posed by it so you could get the scale. It was at least 5 feet in diameter.
The next three images are of a "root ball". The tree has long disintegrated. The root cluster remains along with soil and other debris forming an interesting object. This was one of the objects on my GPS hunt that Trailblazer plotted out for me.

I think this is a baby spruce or a limber pine. (Help me out on this one, Wildman) It is about 5 inches high.
I think this is a baby bristlecone pine, about 2 feet high. Growing in all that quartzite. Wheeler Peak is mostly quartzite.
Bristlecone have to admire a tree that can live up to 5,000 years in the most adverse conditions...wind, altitude, rock.

Limber Pine. We camped in a limber pine forest. They were all over. Even growing up with the Bristlecones.
This next photo is not at GB, but taken at a museum in Delta, Utah. I noticed a variety of clary sage in their garden. It is a little different than mine. It has more lavender and slightly different shaped leaves. I asked the museum attendant. She said she didn't know what it was, it had volunteered. She offered to dig one up and send it with me. The museum was very interesting. We saw a mineral display of all the stones and gems from the area, such as topaz, red emerald, obsidian, garnet. We saw a different mineral display glow with different kinds of ultra-violet light. We visited a rock shop where they make bears and buffalo out of Utah picasso jasper, calcite and septarian nodules. I wished I would have taken my camera inside the museum!
We toured a "barracks" building of where over 6,000 Japanese were interred for 3 1/2 years during the 2nd world war. Amazing, poignant story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Great Basin Adventure

Great Basin National Park is a long ways from almost everything. It is beautiful and peaceful. I am glad we went, but probably won't go back. It has a 13,000 plus mountain, glacier, forests. It has a few lakes, but no fishing. In Utah, we wouldn't even call their lakes the dignified name of "frog pond".

Here are a few of the highlights:
Finding the almost perfect camp spot. Nice tent spot. Fairly close to the stream. No bugs, flies or mosquitoes! The only thing lacking was being able to hear the water feature from our tent. It was quiet, cool and relaxing.
Hiking nearly to timberline, almost to a glacier, through a Bristlecone pine grove. Some of these trees are more than 3,000 years old and still living.

Of course, I have to hug a tree. This one "sapped" me.
Discovering an enchanted, pristine, private forest to explore. (Right next to our camp.) We had fun doing a GPS "treasure hunt". (No, this is not a euphemism)
Check out the deer grazing in the middle of the photo.
Touring a great cave--Lehman. My photos weren't the best because I was using Night mode and couldn't hold it still enough. Oh, well, thank goodness for post cards and internet links.

Being so close to all kinds of deer...within a few yards. One doe even invaded our camp and devoured the mushrooms that we were going to photograph in the morning that had sprouted the morning after a rainstorm.
Discovering a forest filled with curly aspens. Look like they could fit into LOTR.

Seeing real wild horses in their wild setting in a remote area of the Goshute Mountains in Nevada. They were just relaxing. The fence actually was bordering the road and quite a distance from them. I assume to help keep them off the road. There were numerous signs warning of Wild Horses about.

This is a shot of actually how far away they were. The photos above were the best I could do with telephoto.