Back with Aki in Juneau, we take the trail to Nugget Falls because it is convenient to the store that sells the dry roasted almonds—not because from the trail you can catch the reflection of glacier and sharp edged mountains in the thawed edges of Mendenhall Lake. We didn’t pick it because of the mountain goats–with their shaggy white coats—that munch on emerging growth on the rock walls above the falls. We didn’t even consider the falls the attraction even though thy plunge down a granite wall with roar that discourages conversation. We chose the trail for it proximity to shopping and because nothing along the trail grows tall enough to block the sun that warms Aki’s grey fur and softens the remaining lake ice like spring sun should do at the end of April.
While Aki chases after her orange frisbee I watch a mountain goat search a bare rock face for food. Like a child trying to steal candy secreted on a tall shelf, the goat rocks onto the tips of his rear cloven hooves and stretches out for soft spring growth that is almost out of reach.