Mostly Ice


I hope for snow farther out the road out of Juneau that runs almost due north along Lynn Canal for forty miles. About mile 20, the roadside ditches retain a burden of snow and patches of white form abstract patterns under the tall spruce trees. A thin snow blanket covers some of the Eagle River gravel bars but only rain-slick ice covers the trail was take along the river. The tracks of an early skier have hardened into ice. I wish I had been here last week to join him.


Aki normally loves snow. She scoots the side of her face through it and then shake away any of the fluff that clings to her muzzle when she surfaces. Today, she avoids the white portions of the trail, trotting along behind me in a track left by one of those giant-tired bicycles. There is little life to interest the poodle-mix but she manages to entertain herself by analyzing tantalizing scents. She can’t see the seal that rode a flood tide up the river to search for late-run salmon. It squints in our direction before disappearing downriver, hardly making a splash during its exit.


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