Beaver Scent

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The little dog and I walk between two channels of the Mendenhall River on a trail only passable after stretches of cold, snowy weather. If she wasn’t such a brat about it, we could follow it all the way to the lake and loop back on a trail rich in dog signs. But Aki disappears across the river and into the woods whenever she sniffs a trail to her preferred route. She doesn’t care about solitude or silence or the reflected views we have of the glacier and Mt. McGinnis. She wants some same-species interaction.

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I crunch ahead, breaking through the thin crust covering the snow pack except where the wind had stripped the trail down to bare ice. We find what looks like a miniature bobsled course that runs from the river’s edge to a thick forest of alders. My suspicion that it is a beaver’s logging ice road is confirmed when the little dog rolls on a portion of the run with a goofy smile on her face. She does love beaver scent.

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