Seven Miles

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On this seventh day of the fourth month of the seventeenth year I hike seven miles without Aki. Later, I will learn that the little dog had a great time walking around Downtown Juneau. But she would have enjoyed this meander around the Point Bridget Peninsula. First, there is the weather: mild with little wind, occasional sun, temperatures in the fifties. Second, there is the company: a group of hikers who enjoy each other’s company as much as they do the woods.

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We start by skirting the beaver dam ponds that Aki and I walked across during our last visit. Then the trail takes us down the edge of a meadow that is rich in wildflowers in high summer. Already wild iris push little green arrows through last season’s dead growth. In a month or two their purple flowers will wave in the summer wind above chocolate lilies and magenta shooting stars. But today nothing on the meadow pulls the eye away from the still-white mountains of Yankee Basin.

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After the meadow we climb to Cedar Lake, with its northern-most stand of yellow cedar trees. Then it’s up an old mining trail and down to Camping Cove. The rest of hike offers us at least filtered views of the ocean. At times only the sound of it’s small waves competes with that made by boots hammering muddy ground.

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