Sunlight illuminates ground fog as Aki and I drive up to a mountain meadow. It’s the kind of scene that documentary filmmakers use to inject a sense of grandeur into movies about the rain forest. I think about stopping to take a picture of the drama but a gravel truck is grinding up the hill behind us. I push on, hoping to find at least a little sexy fog on the meadow.
The meadow, which was frozen solid during our last visit, has thawed. But a new dusting of snow clings to the avalanche chutes on the surrounding mountains. The sun is about to climb over the shoulder of Ben Stewart. Already streaks of light whiten the meadow’s ground fog and light up a scattering of the meadow’s stunted trees. In minutes clouds descend to cover the mountains and block the sun. We find the upper meadow frosted and frozen when we reach it. If Aki would let me, I could wait for an hour for the sun might banish the clouds and burn away the fog. But then all the drama would be gone.