Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tree Tag Mystery: Solved

Had a fun little run yesterday in the new snow of the Sandias. I met Mike at the trail head for the North Faulty, a trail unfamiliar to me. Mike was a great tour guide for the 6 mile out and back run. Before we started, he said that we would see some old trees tagged with metal IDs. He explained that someone (OK, I have absolutely no idea who these people are) had taken cores out of the trees to determine the approximate birth dates.

The snow was nice and fluffy, and made the footing rather precarious in places. Sadie ran like a crazy dog...thinking she had died and gone to heaven (or Wyoming?)! About half-way out, Mike stopped to point out a huge, gnarly pinon pine. We slipped and slid off the trail to get a better look. The tag said "Edward VI," 1550. WHOA! Way cool. A little farther down the hill was another one, "Bloody Mary," also from the mid 1500's. I can't even imagine what it was like here when these trees were saplings. 

With this information, I went back to look at my picture of the Hershey Chocolate Tree. The date on it was 1857. Guess who was born in 1857? Milton Hershey!!

My plan for running the Crest Trail on 12/22/12 will need to be revised. I expect the snow would present quite an obstacle to completion and threat to safety. Oh well, I'll figure something out.

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