I wonder if Aki ever dreams of other climates when we walk down a rain forest trail on a hard day. I do. On this wet, windy transit of a north Douglas trail, I pretend that it will soon lead onto the south rim of the Grand Canyon just as the sun rises to set off the sunset colors of layered rock and sand. But the trail will never lead me out of this land of greens and browns so subtle that they could be shades of gray. It will take me to a beach exposed by an ebbing tide.
The rain stops when we reach the beach. A gang of surly looking gulls watch us as a formation of four harlequin ducks patrols offshore. Further out, white caps tromp across Lynn Canal and clouds from today’s storm obscure the mountains. Small, unexpected waves of contentment wash though me, keeping time with the ones dying on the shore. As fat drops of rain again soak her fur, Aki gives me a look that might be an accusation that I have lost my mind or a plea to book us both space on a jet to Arizona.