I bring Aki to the Eagle River woods hoping to see mountains, birds, and in the river maybe even seals. Today thanks to weather and the season, we see none of those things. Clouds occlude mountain views. Only a pair of bored ravens break the silence. The river meadows could be famine fields. Even the river mouth sandbars, exposed by a low tide, are empty. Normally I’d treasure the solitude and silence but today, I feel like the guy no one invited to the party.