Aki may not know it but this is a work trip. We are driving out the North Douglas Highway to a beach with a harvestable amount of seaweed. Thin ropes of it mark the high tide line. This may be a last chance to gather wrack for the garden before snow arrives next week.
Three five-gallon buckets rattle together in the cargo area of the car. Their presence should tip Aki about what I am about. We won’t return home until they are filled with severed rockweed. Before then, Aki and I will walk the Rainforest Trail. We will skirt the flooded trail sections. I’ll photograph what color I can find. We will pass the remains of several wind-fallen hemlock trees, their trunks snapped off a few meters above the forest floor. There will be a downed hundred-year-old spruce lying on the floor with its roots ripped from the ground. I’ll figure out that all these trees were blown down by last week’s windstorm.
The same wind that flatten the old growth trees raised waves on Lynn Canal that carried seaweed onto the Douglas Island beaches. While I fill my buckets with the stuff, a large raft of surf scoters will fish close to the shore. They will ignore the little dog and I. But a lone gull, hiding in the plain sight in the raft, will give us the evil eye.