The sun is teasing us today, appearing as a fuzzy ball above the Douglas Island ridge. It casts Gastineau Channel in an arctic light even though the temperature has already reached 22 degrees and there is no wind. Welcome to fjord country, little dog.
Aki knows about fjords, having spent her life on or near several of them. She loves climbing up trails that start at salt water and allow us to reach alpine-like meadows in twenty minutes. But she has learned the hard way about deep snow and today she refuses to follow me onto a trackless Gastineau Meadow. She waits, a statue of concern, on the packed path as I wear myself out breaking trail in a 15-inch deep covering of soft snow. It doesn’t take much to read her thoughts: Have you finally lost it, man of mine?