This weekend my husband and I, along with my dad and a friend of ours, are heading for the hills! We're camping in the White Mountains for two nights, and spending one whole day attempting to reach the summit of White Mountain itself, the third tallest mountain in California at 14,252 feet above sea level. It will be Caleb's and my third fourteener, and that reason alone motivates me to get there. I found a few pictures online that give a glimpse of what our weekend will include. Unfortunately, White Mountain doesn't appear to be a very pretty hike. But the view from the top should be spectacular. Well, and the Bristlecone Pines, the world's oldest living things, are fascinating in themselves.
Last night my cousin asked me what it was that prompts me to climb these mountains, and I realized the only answer I could give her was "because its there." I've never considered that a valid answer before, but the feeling of accomplishment that washes over me when I've completed a hike like this is better than most other highs. There's definitely beauty to behold and I definitely love the silence of such a deserted place ... but its really because the mountain itself simply demands to be conquered. I don't look forward to the pain of a hike I've only half-heartedly trained for, but everything is worth the exhiliration of simply reaching the top. I hope I make it.
Bristlecone Pines. Yes, what looks like a dead stump of tree is actually still alive. What's even more amazing about these old trees is the inhospitable terrain in which they live. They are the ONLY things that grow out of this particularly dry and rocky soil, and they live well and long. Some of these trees are over 4,000 years old.