Yesterday a Hawaiian cyclone named Oho slammed into Ketchikan, 300 miles south of Chicken Ridge. It brought that Alaska border town strong winds and heavy rain. Over seven inches fell in 24 hours. Now the cyclone moves up the Alaska Panhandle. NOAA predicts high winds and a soaking for Juneau. Aki and want to be home in time to watch the show so we move up the time for this walk through the North Douglass old growth.
Steady rain brought by the cyclone’s forward elements hammers the little dog as she does a handstand while relieving herself. A poodle thing, this raising of her rear to the storm. Lacking the little dog’s nonchalance, I walk wrapped in a chrysalis of high tech rain gear. This keeps me dry but also isolated from the world we pass through. It leads me inward to puzzle over things like why some human users of the forest must leave some proof of their passage. The most benign form makeshift sculptures out of the rocks or driftwood. Those trained to conquer nature cut down trees to build drying racks, seats, and other campsite furniture. If we want this natural beauty to last, we should try to follow the old wilderness etiquette rule: Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. There are just too many of us and too few wild places otherwise.