I was in the kitchen, making coffee, thinking about using some sheltered beach for this morning’s walk when unexpected sunshine lit up Dan Moller Basin. The sun reflected intense light off the freshly fallen snow that flocked the basin’s spruce trees. I had to squint even though the basin is across the channel from our house and at least a kilometer away from our kitchen window.
Hey little dog, we’re heading to the mountains. Aki, who was stilled curled up on the bed, didn’t stirred. Thinking only of winter’s beauty and not the cold baggage that accompanies it, I dressed Aki in a light wrap and chose rain gear for myself. We drove to Eagle Crest, Juneau’s closed-for-the-season ski area. The temperature dropped as we gained altitude until it was just above freezing. Our car tires wobbled slightly on the snowy road.
Two inches of new snow covered the trailhead parking area. More was falling as we started down the trail. I wished that I had brought gloves. The little dog looked like she would rather be some place else. Neither of us was prepared for this late attempt by winter to reclaim the mountains.
By doddling behind and stopping each time I turned to check on her, Aki made her wishes clear. When I gave up and turned to join her she raised her tail to its happy position and dashed back toward the car. The snow stopped and sunshine began to leak through the cloud layer. In seconds the snow caught by the meadow’s trees melted. That covering the trail shrank, exposing bare gravel and puddles of melt water.