Not counting Douglas Island and city streets, Juneau has one 45 mile long road. Weirdness tends to collect at both ends. Today Aki and I try the root ridden trail to Dupont that starts at the road’s southern end.
We pass first through a forest of oversized alders and meet a gentle soul collecting wild greens to go with his lentil dinner. He’s old, grey but erect with a buffalo plain shirt that’s pockets are stuffed with the morning harvest. Over a crisp wild cucumber shoot he has just handed me I give him a measuring eye. He could be handing me death in wild form for some look alike plants can kill. Seeing only wisdom and kindness I eat the shoot and everything else he hands me for this time of year wild foods taste fresh and full of summer’s promise.
The trail goes native after we leave behind the kind gatherer. Winter rains have washed trees root bare so they curl like arthritic hands over the steep hill side. Whole trees, still attached to their upturned roots block the trail as if tipped over by a petulant giant.
After passing though some softer land decorated by emerging skunk cabbage, we break onto the beach at Dupont where they stored bombs during the Second World War. Here I try to catch some Dolly Varden Char. Aki only wants to chase her frisbee, She loses it while washing it in the sea. Her angst rises as it floats away from the beach until I snag it with a salmon fry fly. It‘s all I catch.