Rowdy and Arnold encounter a giant beautiful pine tree on their walk to Turtle Lake, and they decide to climb it. Once at the top of the tree, they can see everything: the whole reservation. The act is a sign of determination and courage and maybe a little bit of youthful stupidity. Arnold writes, "I don't know if anybody else has ever climbed that tree. I look at it now, years later, and I can't believe we did it. And I can't believe I survived my first year at Reardan" (30.118-30.119).