Bristlecone Inspiration

“Whole Heartedly Inspiring” barely attempts to explain the feelings I have for the Bristlecone Pine Tree. I believe that learning about them several years ago, then experiencing them in person in the summer of 2010, was one of the most profoundly rich experiences of my life.

These trees embody wise virtues and represent the scope of the possible. They are living examples that making “the Turn” and doing what others will not, displays the glory of God’s favor for rugged individuals who don’t follow the crowd…

These are the oldest living single organism plants on the planet. The ways they do it, the techniques they’ve mastered, we can learn from and apply to our lives today.

Check them out here on the website I visited long before my roadtrip and then read below, my account of meeting the Ancients from


“The Methuselah Tree” is the nickname for the Bristlecone Pine. This tree and it’s story has facinated me since I saw a program on Nova on PBS about it a few years ago. These trees are highly specialized in longevity.

They’re the Oldest Living Single Organisms on the Planet. This example was 3,200 years old when it died in 1687.

The Bristlecone forest was much more vibrant than I expected and full of thousands of trees. We were at Schulman Grove.

The gnarled and twisted dead parts of this tree may have been this way for a thousand years, the dead wood supports the living green parts and protects it.

One Young Bristlecone, One Old Bristly Nick!
Using the dead wood in this area for core samples, they have recorded history for the last 10,000 years, basically since the last ice age.
Being in the presence of these creatures was invigorating. It was a much nicer day up here than they are used to.
The Bristlecones live high above any other trees. Their soil is rocky. The air is the driest ever recorded anywhere on earth.

They know what other plants do not. This example was most likely over 4,000 years old. The signs do not designate their exact age in order to protect them from us humans…
See how no other tree would show it’s face up here? Literally, there are tiny shrubs only up here other than the Bristlecone.
It was so quiet up here, that when not walking or talking, a fly buzzing around was super loud!
The Bristlecones are survivors. They are the single toughest thing pulsing with life that has been around since before the pyramids were built. I admire them, respect them and love the wisdom they teach.

Find places that other plants are too weak to survive in, therefore safe from fire or disease. Endure forces that would kill anything but the rocks on the ground. Grow little in the dry years, grow much when there is plenty, but use patience for the long haul. Among these stoic individuals we do however find contrast and more lessons.

There are sides of the slopes that offer protection from the elements. Soil that is more rich for the roots. A more “desired” spot to grow and prosper… The trees who happen to take root here, will see but a mere fraction of the years. Thier wood is softer and they do not live nearly as long as the true majestic ancients…

Those thats seeds find their way up to the rockiest, windiest, most exposed krags of dolamite, with the least soil and least moisture, they gleam and beam. Their wind-polished twisted trunks and demon fingered branches have reached into the sky victoriously for millenia. They, who have seen the hardest times, dealt with the most pains and chosen to survive where no others would, get to reap thier reward in thousands of years. You see, it is the Elements themselves, the wind, the dry, the rocks which strengthen the wood for endurance, and without the elements, they would remain soft like those in the protected shadow of the cliffs…Nick and I spent one hour among them. Not even a half of the blink of an eye to them. I was and am in awe. I will for sure be back… 22 miles of gravel roads to the west is the Patriarch Grove. More ancients who are even older. I’d like to find another moment of Ancient Wisdom among their branches.
I will be back to visit the Methuselah Trees, It’s in my visions, what’s in yours?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *