The trail is covered by slick ice, made even more slippery by pools of snow melt and rain water. At least one dog walker had to retreat back to the parking lot after walking a few steps down the trail. The ice grippers that cling to my boots make my passage safe.
Together Aki and I work our way to a little passage to Sandy Beach. Last night’s high tide rush cleared ice and snow from the beach. We would drop on to it in a New York minute if it was clear of other dogs and people. It is not. Four or five folks walk down the beach in the direction we want to use.
The dog folks, having found this magical stretch of easy passage, walk slowly down the beach as their dogs play tag with each other. Sometimes they stop to exchange recipes or tall stories. Walking a slow, safe pace on the icy forest trail, Aki and I keep pace. I think about dropping down on the beach to make a wide, covid free swing around them on the beach but the incoming tide has already narrowed it too much for safe passage. Instead, we stay in the people free forest and circle through it to the car.