I’m rushing to reach a vantage point before the wake of an outbound salmon troller shatters the reflection of Mt. Roberts. Tired from struggling in the soft-deep snow, Aki isn’t keeping pace. She catches up with me just after I take a few photos of the mountain. Soon she is following close at my heals, taking advantage of the trail I am punching into the snow.
The tide is in, pushing up against the snow line. Seeing a strip of exposed sand at the waterline, I plod over to it. Instead of a dry, snow-free strip made for poodle passage, I find a soggy mess. My boots would sink as deep in the sand as they do in the snow. Aki no doubt wonders “What the heck” as I lead her away from the sand.
I take the first trail off the beach and enter the Treadwell Woods. Aki flashes past me. At the deep bay caused by a mine tunnel collapse, handful of Barrow golden eye ducks fish. Out in Gastineau Channel another salmon troller heads toward Taku Inlet. Tomorrow, while passing Harris Harbor, I’ll look for a hand painted “Fresh Winter Kings for Sale” sign.