Aki stares at me. I’m trying to enjoy the last sips of morning coffee. The sun is just climbing over the shoulder of Mt. Roberts. Soon the peach and orange colors of sunrise will be replaced by the simple blues and whites of a winter day. Does Aki know that when it reaches Chicken Ridge, the sun will loosen the bonds the fresh snow has to bare-tree branches? The snow will plop to earth, reducing the trees to mere skeletons.
The little dog doesn’t care about snowy beauty. She is probably bored or just needs to relieve herself. But we are burning daylight. In a minute we are out the door and walking along the edge of Downtown Juneau. The sun is already throwing long tree shadows onto snow covered yards. Snowmelt drips off roofs and down icicles.
Gastineau Channel is empty of boats except for one gillnetter chugging towards Taku Inlet. The Franklin Street tourist shops are closed and empty as the downtown sidewalks. City merchants have scattered crystals of chemical snowmelt on the downtown sidewalks. To save her feet, I have to carry Aki over the worst patches.
Just before home, we pass The Three Watchmen. This set of totem poles watches over Downtown Juneau. The two that face the channel look fierce. But the totem looking up at Mt. Juneau looks to be smiling under its cap of snow.