Friday, June 21, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 6, Great Basin National Park

Friday June 7, 2013

We toured Lehman Cave today. It is a small cave, 4 or so rooms, but very decorated.  They have some decorations that are unique; "shields", circular plates with flow stone out of the edges, and "turnips", ball shaped stalagmites.

Great Basin is known for it's bristlecone pines,  the oldest living trees are bristlecones.  In the visitor center they had a cross section of a bristlecone that showed 4000 years of growth.  We hiked up to a grove up in one of the high altitude valleys.  On the hike there are a couple of trees marked over 3000 years old.  I have never seen so many bristlecone pines or so big.  The trail leads 2.4 mi up to a rock covered valley full of bristlecone pines, living and dead.  They are so immune to decay and bugs that when they die they may stand for a thousand years.

Even clearer sky tonight than last night.

- Jon

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