Spring will come late to this working class stream but it will take away much beauty when it does arrive. Winding through a tight little valley and less and a mile from the Juneau Ice Field, Montana Creek will run around snow covered rocks for at least a couple of more weeks. The departing winter’s snow, ice, and hoar frost makes the beauty here. Without snow, this wonderful ski trail becomes a tired gravel road to nowhere; the creek a claustrophobic spawning ground for several species of salmon. They will draw the bears and eagles and ravens and herons who will hide from my view in thick riverine forest. Winter and summer, rifle and shotgun blasts spice up almost every visit to the creek.
The gun range was almost packed when we climbed into our skis. Since is such an an odd way to honor the pascal sacrifice, I wonder if those sighting down the barrels of their expensive rifles are celebrants in a church of gun powder and shot. Aki tries to ignore the near constant barrage but I can tell she is bothered by the bangs and booms.