Blue Blink


Wind blown rain whipped across Chicken Ridge when we headed out to the western edge of Mendenhall Lake. Aki and I drive through rain, heavy and light, along a Gastineau Channel flooded by the tide. We have little hope of dry weather and no reason to expect sunshine. The weatherman calls for four more wet days. But the glacier makes its weather without consulting meteorologists.


Near the glacier, ice covers the lake and all available trails. A skim of fresh rainwater makes everything super slick but the little dog’s sharp nails and my ice grippers allow us safe travel. We have the place to ourselves so no one else sees the sunlight wedge open a crack in the cloud cover. At first only a tight shaft slides through to hit halfway up the glacier. As we walk along the lake edge, blue sky replaces gray and the greens of spruce covered hillsides warm towards yellow. We turn back into the woods and don’t notice blue’s disappearance. Under occluded skies made more acceptable by the short, but rich taste of spring, the rain returns.


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