When Aki and I started up the Gastineau Meadows trail, we had every right to expect a pleasant walk. The sun was making its low arc across a blue sky. Aki could feel it warm her fur. Someone had scraped the accumulated ice off the access road. Then a wind twisted over the Douglas Island Ridge to raise whitecaps on the channel. On its way, it nudged Aki in the rear. Another air stream pushed long plumes of snow off Mr. Roberts.
Aki ignored the rude breeze. I watched a raven ride a thirty-knot gust up and then barrel roll into a dive. Its silhouette sliced across the face of the sun.
Since the wind didn’t discourage the little dog, I refused to turn back to the car. Together we climbed the icy track to the meadow proper. I expected to be hammered by gusts when we lost the protection of the forest. But the meadow air was as calm as a tightrope walker practicing a few feet above the ground. The lack of expected drama disappointed at first. Then I spotted Aki flying across the still firm meadow snow.