Back in the Mountains


We moved back from house sitting at Auk Bay to Chicken Ridge last night, exchanging quick access to beach life for the quieter mountains. Staying in the neighborhood, Aki and I walk past the craftsmen houses along Basin Road where purple delphiniums and purple-red fushsia blooms stand near native plants fading to fall yellow.  Under the old Basin Road trestle bridge, strips of fog rise from Gold Creek to join a blanket of clouds that hides the top half of Mount Juneau.  Seeing no traffic, car or foot, I let Aki off her lead. On a normal walk she would use this freedom to dash out and back, marking the area with her pee. Today she stays close, stopping when I do. I look up after taking a photograph to see her starring back with apparent concern.  I find peace in this hemmed in valley with its cloudy cap. She must not. Rather than climb into the clouds, I lead Aki across a Gold Creek footbridge and onto the old flume that feeds a small hydro electric plant near the Indian Village. She relaxes enough to dash ahead on the trail boards that enclose the flume. Charged with recent rain the flume carries a noisy load of water. Aki waits for me where a side trail drops down to  Gold Creek, as if suggesting it as an alternative.  I accept and follow her to the creek and then home.



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