I’ve seen sea lions on these offshore rocks, but never people. The rocks form a spit that juts out from the island that will block our view of Lynn Canal during most of today’s hike. Goldeneyes, mergansers and other ducks usually feed in the channel between the mainland where Aki and I walk. Here, we have seen harbor seals, eagles, and of course, sea lions. But today only raindrops touch the water.
The trail takes us along beach tide lines and across a series of headlands until we drop down onto a pocket cove. Now we can actually see across the canal to where the Chilkat Mountains form a fuzzy line of bumps. The little dog and I take seats on top of a rocky point and let rain shower us. The two gulls break the silence by bickering over something floating in the water. It looks like driftwood with a blood-red gash.
The little dog looks as content with the quiet isolation as I feel. I won’t recognize the driftwood for dead meat until later, when I enlarge photographs of it on the computer. Looking for the best path to the trail, I spot clumps of pale-white globes that hang on leafless branches near the beach brush line. They turn out to be stink currents, one of least desirable local fruits. But they are the brightest things in the forest.