On the Black Kaweah trip I had the opportunity to view the majestic and rare Southern Foxtail Pine (pinus balfouriana subsp. austrina). This species of tree can only be found in the southern high Sierra, particularly in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The tree grows at high altitudes near or at the tree line and features a dark red bark that is highly visible. The pine is well equipped to survive the harsh, cold winters of the high Sierra and many are centuries old. In fact, it is believed the Southern Foxtail Pine can survive over 2,500 years, although the oldest known specimen was 2110 years old. Many of these trees are therefore very large for the tree line elevation making them very impressive, especially the solitary ones. This tree is awesome!
Daily update: I had a good run at Wunderlich Park today with cool temps. It was a normal run except for the very finish. My normal descent route on the Loop Trail was closed so I took the Chaparral-Bear Gulch Trails. It was slightly longer than normal, but the trails were awesome through Redwood forest so I am going to finish along this route from now on! Total running time was 77 minutes with around 12 miles and 2,000+ feet of gain – a good hill workout! Tomorrow I hope to check out a location I have yet to explore for an easy run – the Skyline Ridge, Russian Ridge, and Long Ridge areas. These parks are located on top at the crest of the Santa Cruz mountains, but I don’t expect it to be that hilly because the trails are on top of the ridge.
Here are some Foxtail Pine photos!