Our second day in Bishop was spent climbing the White Mountains to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to the oldest living, non-clonal organisms in the world, averaging 2,000 years old--the oldest being 5,062 years old. The trees themselves are the definition of gnarled with swirls of orange, yellow and black in their bark. I could have spent hours exploring the grove and obsessing over each tree, but the light was beginning to fade and we needed to make it to Mammoth.
Our first overnight stop was in Bishop, where Catie had lived for four years and which became our base of operations as we chased summer storms, explored the gorge, and climbed the White Mountains to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
To commemorate (and celebrate) our survival of our first year of teaching, Catie and I took off on a summer road trip through the Sierras, hitting Bishop, Mammoth, Yosemite, Santa Cruz, and Big Sur and pausing to see the sights between.
Our first brief strop on our road trip was Red Rock Canyon State Park, off Route 14. Red cliffs framed by joshua trees rose out of the sand and brush right alongside the highway.