Yesterday’s storm left Mendenhall Lake covered with a half-a-meter of snow. Aki can’t handle such deep stuff without some help. She gets it from her other human and I. We ski ahead, packing down a trail for the little poodle.
We started the ski in the woods on a trail that winds though a stunted spruce forest. Only light filtered by the snow-covered forest canopy reached the ground. I felt like one of Plato’s cave dwellers when we emerged from the forest and dropped onto the sun-splashed lake. The snowy woods offered a restrained beauty, but it was only a pale imitation of lakeside trees, weighed down with new show, crisp in full sun.
The lake ski trail normally offers great views of the glacier. Today, we can barely see it through a veil of thin clouds. I stop pointing the camera at the ice river and turn it on the normally mundane: a flat covered glacial erratic rock, that island of dwarf trees and the shadows that they throw.
Aki keeps up as her humans ski near the top end of the lake. Small snow balls bounce on her legs as she trots after us. But her tail never drops. She does fall back on our return journey to the trail head. I wonder, as I wait for her, whether to pull off some of her snow balls. She must have stopped to chew them off herself. The little dog trots by me and sprints to catch up to her other human.