Travels in the American Southwest

Lehman Caves

The gravel wasn't natural deposit but it made a dandy spot for MSO and me to boondock for the night

Back in 1964, a graduate student was taking core samples of various Bristlecone Pine Trees in the Wheeler Peak area of Nevada (see the core groove on the right). He was looking for evidence of past glaciers. Bristlecones live to an astounding age - many are over 4,000 years old. These Bristlecone Pines were well known in the scientific/conservation community, some were even named such as Buddha and Socrates. When the student's coring tool broke, he asked and received permission from the U.S. Forest Service to cut down the tree! Counting 4,844 rings, it was later discovered that the tree was actually 4,950 years old. It's quite possible that the grad student killed the oldest living thing on the planet. It's name was Prometheus.
This piece is seen in the Visitors Center at Lehman Caves.


Cypress Swamp


         A Column                                      Only two stalagtites survived earlier souvenir hunters


Park Service Guide Melissa answers questions                        Graffiti from the 1930's adorns the Inscription Room

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