Walking among gnarled trees 2,000 - 3,000 years old ... we didn't hurry, why would we? It was awesome! The trail views and the short self-guided nature trail passing thru a portion of bristlecone pine grove were too good to rush. Also, rarefied air played a part in us taking our time. Since we managed to hike on three different trails to get to the old grove, we figured our hiking distance to be about five miles. Of course, with lots of elevation gains and losses. It was worth every step.
Several times on the trails, Jimmy and I encountered an energetic, younger-than-us woman from Boise named Kathy, sharing info on what we'd seen and where we'd been, etc. Bristlecone pine trail ended at Wheeler Peak campground, and so did we ... about a mile away from Smartie, and a relentless uphill return to feet already tired and bodies ready to quit. We may not have it altogether all the time (insert smiley face, here!), but we aren't stupid -- I asked her for a ride to Smartie parked at the Summit Trail lot. She graciously assented. Before we left, she wondered if we'd like our photo taken? Sure, and here we are!