Yesterday, after the fog burned off, Aki’s other human and I rode our bicycles to Sheep Creek. We enjoyed blue skies and a summer time temperature of 16 degrees Celsius. After his one-day visit, summer left with the sun, driven south by rain. The temperature dropped 12 degrees. We are back on skis with Aki in tow.
Only one car occupies the Skater’s Cabin parking lot when we arrive. It belongs to a dog walker that leaves as we carry our skis to the lake. We felt lucky to find a parking place on our last visit. We find Mendenhall Lake covered with turquoise colored ice. Snow, in some places more than 30 cm thick, still blankets the beach. Made just soft enough by the rain, the snow provides us great skiing.
After taking a few snow baths, Aki falls in behind me as we head toward the river. We visited with a family of swans several times on the river this spring. As I search for them, a northern harrier drops from the top of a spruce and glides across the river. Other than the resident mallards, the harrier will be the only bird we will see until just before we leave the river for the woods. Then our thee swans will appear from behind a downriver bend and fly away to the north.