Fog drew me here. But we were turned back by ice. The trail took us along the old Treadwell water ditch and then onto a boardwalk that climbs into the Dan Moller Bowl. Even though the mining machinery the ditch once served closed almost 100 years ago, it still holds water. Pale, teardrop shaped leaves contrived to form a single line around the edge of one of the ditch’s narrow ponds. They also circled a willow island. Only the teardrop tops touched the island. The central vein of most leaves formed a 90-degree to the willows. It is hard to believe that gravity, wind, and current alone placed the leaves with such geometric precision.
Where the trail climbed into the bowl, Aki wanted to remain on the ditch trail. Did she hope to find a doggie friend or two strolling along the ditch? After giving the begging eyes, she followed me onto the boardwalk trail to the fog. In minutes I stepped on my first ice of fall, sliding a few inches to an abrupt stop. Aki turned around and started back the way we came. Ahead, mountainside spruce appeared to be playing catch and release with fog tendrils. Wanting practice taking fog pictures, I continued up the ice covered boards until slipping again. “Okay little dog, best to return to the ditch.”