California’s Oldest Living Legacy

by Brandon Bethea

When people think of California’s outdoors, they usually picture the tall redwood trees, the bridge along the Big Sur coast, or family trips to Yosemite. Venturing off the beaten path, however, can reveal some of the state’s hidden jewels.

One of California’s oldest but most overlooked landmarks is the Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Situated in the Inyo National Forest, the trees here are considered to be the oldest living organisms on the planet, some well over 4,000 years old! This is my “one true place” and a photographer’s dream destination. So few people visit here that I have spent hours hiking without seeing another soul! This place reminds me how insignificant we are along the timeline of life yet how important it is to preserve California’s natural resources and legacy for future generations.

Originally from Florida, I’m not normally a forest, high-altitude kind of guy. After all, my day job involves taking cancer survivors on shark dives and other marine-based adventures, some of which occur off of California’s coast. Nonetheless, I feel a special connection with these trees and this special place. I have always wanted to return with a proper camera to film a time-lapse video of the starry night sky, and a GoPro Hero 3 would be perfect to do so!

In addition to documenting the Methuselah Grove trees and their long-standing legacy, my GoPro Hero 3 would also be perfect for documenting my charitable project’s cancer survivors underwater, while they live out their own personal dreams and legacies! In each case, my work would also help educate others about the need to save our state’s forests and finned friends! Please pick me so that
I can not only film my “One True Place” but also follow my “One True Purpose” to help others enjoy California’s outdoors!

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