Laura said she had this one taken--mostly to tick off her grandmother.  :)

   The tundra we were on wasn't _completely_ treeless.  Her is a specimen of what Laura calls "funky trees." :) It is probably over 100 years old:

   A cool shot of some "tundral forest"--on the "northern extension"--for lack of a better thing to call it--of the Steese Highway:

   I have a lot more to say about my experiences there--I just don't have the time, just now.  I will update this part of the page--hopefully in the near future. . . .

   Here, FINALLY is the update I promised.  I looked for a place to put it in the sequence of pictures--but there just didn't seem to be any--so I put it here.

   While the others were down below, I took a walk up to the top of a nearby mountain.  Distances on the tundra are *EXTREMELY* misleading (as a sort of "safety tip," one could do a lot worse than to remember that), and it took some time.  All I found at the top was a marker--noting the passage of a USAF survey team--during the fifties, and one of those "rock piles"--so prevalent in the arctic; but the view was . . . extraordinary.  Picture tundra-topped mountains extending for at least fifty miles in every direction--lit by a reddish low-hanging sun.  It made me regret leaving the camera with those still down below.  :)

   Later, as the sun was just passing its lowest point in the sky, I took a walk down into the tundra-covered valley.  I always try to walk down there, whenever I'm at Eagle Summit--even though, strictly speaking, one isn't supposed to do so--as it is always such a unique experience.  This time was no exception.  Although I almost always agree with Bill Waterson that "life's halcyon moments" are "rewarded retroactively"---that is, only through the view of our memory, I had more than an inkling that the time I was spending was something special.  Picture, if you will, looking down at tundral plants, none over six inches tall---and yet most over 75 years old. The air was so cold that it felt like it would frost-bite my hands--and yet, here was an insect, flying low.  One could feel in the very air life straining for continued existence in the short window of summer's above freezing temperatures. All this backlit by a reddish low-horizon glow that I couldn't stop from reminding me of a passage I'd read from "The Time Machine"--of a far-future Earth, where the sun perpetually hung on the horizon--back in literature class in sixth grade.  I knew then--and haven't had anything to prove me wrong, since--that I was experiencing something that I would remember clearly--for the rest of my days.