“Hope you like the north wind,” a man dressed in high-end ski gear said to me as he walked away from the lake. He carried a pair of skate skis over his shoulder. As he spoke I was trying to open up a bear proof trash bin near Skater’s Cabin. But I caught the skier’s smile just as he turned away.
I was prepared for the cold, maybe too well prepared and the air was calm. There was no reason not to slide past the cabin and down to the lake. Aki galloped ahead, apparently anxious to dash about on the snow.
Rather than start down the set track, I ski along the lakeshore where four or five inches of snow covers the lake ice. It’s hard work breaking trail because the ice prevents me from getting much purchase with my ski poles. In minutes I am sweating.
Aki hangs with me for a few minutes and then charges away toward the set track where a dog runs along side his skate skiing master. I head toward the track too, but at an oblique angle with draws Aki towards me. When we meet on the track, she looks at me for a minute and starts off at a trot.
By now my warm hat is in a pocket of my unzipped parka. My gloves are in the other pocket. Then the wind finds us. After another minute of skiing, I zip up my parka and pull on my hat. Aki stops often, looking back with apparently longing. The skiing is too good to turn back so I push into the wind with the loyal little dog.