Free Range Dog


I was disappointed to find so many cars in the trailhead parking lot. But most of their occupants had already formed an ant-like line on the lake ice pointed toward the glacier’s ice cave. Aki and I keep to the eastern lake shore and wander toward Nugget Falls. Fog and low clouds form a grey and white ceiling above the lake, revealing only the lower half of Mendenhall Glacier.


Aki usually keeps pretty close to me but today she ranges like a cattle drive scout, returning for a checkup and then dashing in another direction. No dogs or people draw her away. I blame interesting smells, entertain the possibility of ghosts. One time I spot her far out on the lake where she has acres of ice to herself.

3The flat light emphasizes the blue in the glacier ice and turns ice encasing the waterfall a gentle turquoise shade. Water still forces it way through the ice it created to push beneath the lake surface. Even diminished by its turquoise sarcophagus, the falling water intimidates me with its powerful song. Mesmerized, I almost miss a brief reveal of glacier and mountains provided by the sun.



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