Aki and I drove out to the Mendenhall Glacier complex without realizing that there were four cruiseships in town. Many of their passengers were already heading toward the glacier. We had to pass a line of idling buses to reach the complex’s parking lot. Ant-like lines of passengers drained each bus. Many of these visitors started down the Nugget Falls Trail. The little dog and I followed.
Aki, who normally likes to socialize with strangers, seemed overwhelmed by the crowds. Soon we were able to slip off onto very informal trail that led to a lakeside walk. No one followed. We could hear voices when our trail brought us close to the main one. But the sound was no more disturbing than geese cackle. The little dog and I relaxed.
Lines of fog-like clouds stretched across the lake and climbed up forested hills. More substantial clouds blocked our view of the Mendenhall Towers but not the glacier. Thanks to our summer of drought and record high temperatures the river of ice looked anorexic. A few icebergs still lingered in the lake shallows, diminished to small ice sculptures. One looked like a thin dog begging for food.