Aki and I are heading to Nugget Falls. Deep snow covers the trail. We do okay as long as we stay in the trough pounded into the soft snow by the boots of other hikers. The trail offers some lovely views of the glacier and surrounding mountains. But reaching the best vantage points would require tramping through fifty meters of soft, wet snow.
The soft snow hinders Aki. She can’t reach bushes peed on my other dogs before the snow crust melted away. The little dog takes station behind me in the trench. We pass several willow shrubs that have pussy willows (catkins) decorating their upper branches. I want to get close enough to photograph these premature signs of spring but not if it means coming home with snow in my boots. Then I think, what would be so bad about that.
While Aki watches from the packed trail, I plod several meters to some catkins, each boot sinking forty centimeters into snow, until reaching the willow. The catkins have shed their protective shells and are already expanded as if summer was just around the corner.