While Aki and rode out to Mendenhall Lake, I expected the trail to be soft. If there is still any sign of the ski trail, it must be flushy and shallow. But while warmish air was quickly melting snow near our downtown home, the air was well under freezing by the glacier. This allowed the volunteer trail guy to create a great, well-formed ski trail this morning.
On a good ski day like this, this is one of Aki’s favorite places to visit. The well packed trails help her fly toward the dogs of other skiers. She dashes up to them, engages in a quick exchange of sniffs, and trots back to me.
When we get close to the river that drains Mendenhall Lake, Aki and I leave the ski trail and walk over to the water. We do this on every Mendenhall ski on the chance that we will see a family of swans. It doesn’t happen on this visit. I think back to the story in the Juneau Empire describing the capture last month of an injured swan. It happened on this little river stretch. Maybe things will change next month. The injured swan might be reunited here with her family, or the little river will fill up with other transit swans.