I’d expect more unpleasantness in hell. But for a cross country skier, Montana Creek might be offering a taste of purgatory. Aki wouldn’t agree. She is having a great time racing back and forth between her other human and me. Already forgotten is the first half-a-kilometer of the trail where blasts from the gun range made it impossible for her to hear my calming words.
I just avoided a nasty fall when tree moss on the trail brought one ski to a stop while the other one pulled me down the hill. Now climbing up a hill, my skis can’t get a purchase on the ice-slick trail. Aki’s other human is having an easier time with her skate skis.
When the grade flattens out, the shushing sound of the snow-thaw stream will calm me. I’ll notice its beauty. The meter-deep mounds of snow that cover every rock and log in the creek are shrinking. Some have been reduced to a rime of ice that covers the round rocks like a short-cropped wig. Little falls of melt water pour from beneath each surviving snow mound.