Two weeks ago 22 coneheads gathered in Southern California for what seemed like an unlikely quest in that part of the world: seeking native stands of enormous endemic conifers, such as big cone Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) and Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) in peaceful, uninhabited mountainous terrain. Many of us were skeptical when the expedition was proposed, but our trip organizer and inspiration, Dan Spear, got us fired up when he lovingly described the conifer forests of the Angeles Crest in the San Gabriel Mountains. Mary Anne Payne, from verdant Mendocino County, exclaimed at our first stop high above distant Los Angeles, ‘I didn’t believe you, Dan, when you said that the forest was wonderful with great trees! I thought that it was too dry, but I came to support you and have fun with the other ACS members. I am amazed at how dense and beautiful the forest is!’ We were all equally impressed with the seaside stands of Pinus torreyana that we visited the next day. Oh, and by the way, did we mention the cones?
We’ll have a full report on the trip in the fall CQ. In the meantime, take a look at the photos by Jack Christiansen, who captured the vastness of the space, the tranquility of the forests and seashore, and the magnificence of the native trees.