The wind beat Aki and I to the Gastineau Meadows. After morning sunlight reached the ice field but before we left Chicken Ridge, it rushed over the summits of Roberts, Sheep and Juneau mountains and down the creek valleys that separate them. After whipping up the waters of Gastineau Channel, the wind climbed the gentle foothills of the Douglas Island ridge, creating snow devils in the open spaces between the trees. That’s what we found when first starting up the meadows trail.
Because I see the north wind as a bringer of sunshine, I don’t mind having to lean into it. But the little dog has a much more complex relationship with winter wind. This morning, after receiving the first punch of wind, she barked and bounced down the trail toward it, like she would a potential playmate. When another gust caught her mid-pee, she growled and whirled around. Then she was off chasing a swirl of snow. When we had to trudge in a steady blow she stopped and waited for me to find her a better buddy. But, reaching a section of protected trail, she charged past me, barking at a scene empty of life except for the movement of air.