Aki, why do you want to stay in the woods? It’s not a fair question to ask the little dog. The woods and the campground road just beyond them are rich with dog smells. She can almost make out the scent left by one of her dog buddies, maybe Cedar. Aki doesn’t care if the lakeshore trail offers wonderful, if misty, mountain views. Besides, it has started to rain. The woods will provide her some shelter from the wet.
The poodle-mix might also be deterred by the crunch of ice that follows each of my steps along the snow-covered shore. A two-inch thick sheet of ice is buried beneath snow. An irregular surface of beach rocks stretch beneath the ice. I fracture the ice with every step.
I crunch my way around and between a set of small islands. Aki has planted herself at the forest edge. Only when I disappear around a point of land does the little dog trot after me. We repeat this pattern all the way to the place where the Mendenhall River leaves the lake. Then we re-entered the forest and walk on an icy road through the campground and back to the car. Now a happy Aki is free to catalogue the passage of other dogs that recently left their mark on the snow.