The calendar claims that Spring waits outside our door but snow still covers the moraine and ice the beaver ponds. Wrapping Aki in her red fleece coat I grab the skis and head to the glacier. We find a good surface for traveling but no dogs for Aki to greet. She hides her disappointment in a search for clues left by recent visitors and, when we reach their village, the beavers.
Someone has dismantled their large dam, replacing their miniature hockey rink with a sad scene—-mud, fractured pond ice,fallen cottonwoods. We can’t find beaver tracks in the softening snow. Aki heads deeper into their village until I call her back. No sense adding to their stress.
Returning to the main trail we find tracks resembling those left by very large bare human feet but with deformed big toes. These are deep, crisp impressions in the snow with icy sides and bottoms as if made in the heat of the day by something of great bulk. We find them where the trail bisects a grove of trees killed years ago by beaver formed floods. I look around for someone to confirm our find but Mt. McGinnis, with sun in his eyes is the only other presence.
Do I credit it a hoax or confirmation of Big Foot? Wanting a return to firmer ground I lead Aki further into the moraine and then to Mendenhall Lake and a view of it’s glacier dropping out of the clouds. A shaft of light fights its way through the cloud cover to hit a portion of the ice fall, now a translucent light blue under the sudden illumination. This is something man can not duplicate or distort to legend—at least not yet.