The weather service expects the sun to set at 3:49 this afternoon. But, it’s only noon and thanks to an inconveniently placed hill, Aki and I stand in dusk. That’s how low the sun arcs through Alaska skies in winter. Below us Eagle River slowly makes it way to Lynn Canal through exposed gravel bars. A half-a-mile away, waves pound ashore, mimicking the roar of a jet engine.
The little dog and I walk toward the noisy ocean and into sunshine. Scattered over the golden grass of a riverside meadow are inch thick slabs of ice that once covered the river. I can’t help but step on the ones laying on the trail. When they fracture I feel like a vandal like a do when crunching across a frozen meadow or crossing barnacle-covered rocks.
I brought Aki here today because tonight the weather changes. A strong winter storm is scheduled to arrive late this evening. Before it moves across the icefield and into the Yukon Territory, the storm will drop at least a-half-a-foot of snow. Then, we will have to kiss this crunchy beauty goodbye.