First appearance of sunshine after days of snow. Aki and I spend the best part of it wandering over the moraine. Normally, I wonder why hikers block out natural sounds with ear buds. But today, I wish the air would fill with a Townes Van Zandt song, maybe “For the Sake of The Song” or “Tecumseh Valley,” and then a Corelli concerto. Aki dances down the snowy trail like she hears her own rich sound track.
We edge around Moose Lake and then take a spur trail to the Mendenhall River. It’s a narrow way, today partially blocked every 100 feet by trailside alders that lean over the path under a burden of fresh snow. At first, Aki lets me break trail for her. Then I hook one of the overhanging alders and it releases it burden on the little dog and I. After she shakes off the result, Aki takes point.
We reach the river a little damp from melting snow. With the 14 mm lens that I usually bring to the moraine, I could share a picture of the scene at the end of the trail: the snow-banked river making a sharp, green-colored bend beneath the forested slope of Mt. McGinnis. Pearl-colored clouds obscure a swatch of the mountain while a blade of sunlight outlines one of the mountain’s sharp-edged ridges. I have a telephoto zoom that only allows me to pull chunks of beauty from the scene. But, if not for the lens problem, I might not have noticed a little world of forest and sky trapped in a shrinking patch of open water on the fast moving river.