K is for Krummholz. Way up on the highest knoll, 500 meters above the foothills where the kinnikinnick grows, much higher than the katydid sings or the kildeer flies, a persistent hiker or rider can reach the krummholz formation. The word krummholz comes from the German for "twisted wood". It consists of stunted spruce or fir growing under inhospitable conditions near tree line, the altitude above which no trees will grow. In the Uinta mountains of Utah, tree line is about 11,000 feet, 3350 meters, above sea level. From that height , the vast openness makes a keen-eyed kid with a knapsack, or even a (k)rusty old
(k)urmudgeon, feel like he's "knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door", playing king of the mountain or keeper of the west.
(k)onfronted with such beauty? The views are better than 24 karat gold, and a single (k)lick of a (k)amera provides the keepsake of a lifetime. A man can give thanks to the kindness of the gods for the (k)atharsis of such an experience.