I wasn’t sure about this trip. Aki’s other human and I are to paddle a kayak for over an hour to cross Mendenhall Lake and onto the toe of the glacier. Then we will climb a short trail and onto the glacier itself. Aki, can’t ride in a car for more than ten minutes without whining. How is the little dog going to handle a long ride in a confining cockpit? The answer is, “surprising well.”
A ten-knot head wind slows our crossing of the main body of the lake. Aki sits in the forward cockpit, watching gulls hover over the kayak. She whimpers when we near a rocky point that marks the beginning of the bay that is touched by the glacier’s toe. Kittiwakes scream at us. We can pick out the young that hatched this year by their darker color.
We have to share the landing beach with a guide canoe full of customers who had paid for an adventure on the glacier. Aki dashes around them as they pull on climbing harnesses and helmets. They are receiving a safety talk when we walk up the trail. On our way back to the kayak we walk use the glacier to avoid a messy patch of muddy trail, passing the adventurers climbing onto he ice. I wonder if a ten-pound poodle’s presence on the glacier diminishes their sense of drama.