Today I am thankful to find a thick layer of snow still covering the moraine. Others have stomped down the trail so it’s easy traveling until we get to the beaver lands. Any concern Aki may have after yesterday’s wet and windy stroll disappears as she races down the trail. She only stops to check her messages and leave her own with pee.
I would be surprised to find so much of the snow pack intact after the extended period of warm wet weather we are having. But here near the glacier the snow cover acts like a great sponge to soak up the rain as it shrinks into a compact, sustainable mass. We will be back on skis following the next snow storm.
Only ice covers the trail through the beaver lands. In places this is covered with thin sheets of water. Aki dances around these spots but I get a shower of rain drops hanging on the trail side trees if I try to follow her. Fortunately I’ve brought ice grippers, which I pull on boots to save my dignity and possibly my aging bones.
The rain has reduced these flooded lands to broken plains of milky ice. Here and there we find areas stained muskeg brown by springs which must be avoided in warm weather if you want to keep your boots dry. In this low morning light we can make out the ghosts of tracks left by others —- snowmachines, skis, boots, and the tracks of a northern dog pounded two inches into slush during the height of the recent heat wave. Soon this history will disappear beneath inches of new fallen snow.
Returning through the Troll Woods we find that they have already conquered winter. Here we move once more on mossy ground.