Those prepared to test the shocks on their car can press on, driving slowly 12 more miles up a washboarded dirt road to the Patriarch Grove.
“Welcome to the four-mile marathon,” my wife, Dawn Garcia, gasped, near the end, recalling the fatigue of the race she’d run in March.
It is so accurate, that the process was used to fine-tune the more modern radio-carbon dating method.
“So we know this hunk of bristlecone is about 7,000 years old,” she says.
The high elevation of the White Mountains and minimal glow from the small and distant towns make almost any place here good for admiring stars and meteor showers (Perseids is coming next Sunday-Aug. On our visit, we were treated to a spectacular full moon.
First on our agenda was the aptly named Discovery Trail, which wends for a half-mile up a pale dolomite slope, then gently descends back to the lot.