This 1.5 mile, 1,350 vertical foot trail, just outside Anchorage, was more exciting with a little bit of snow at the top (we saw many foreign tourists with inadequate footwear, and one was scratching at the snow with her bare hands as she tried not to slip downwards near the summit). But, we made it, and so did Duane (he’s part mountain lion). Anne complained a lot about the cold.
There was beautiful Alpine tundra on the way up
Gorgeous tiny flowers in the tundra
Lichens are just about the hardiest visible organisms on Earth…they particularly thrive in environments where no other organism would go–on blowy mountain tops and arctic wastes, wherever there is little but rock and rain and cold… In areas of Antarctica where virtually nothing else will grow, you can find vast expanses of lichen–four hundred types of them–adhering devotedly to every wind-whipped rock. … It may take a lichen more than a half century to attain the dimensions of a shirt button. Those the size of dinner plates… are “likely to be hundreds if not thousands of years old.