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101 Walking in the Dark 2009-07-02

Longs Peak in the Morning

We just finished climbing Wilson Peak and Mount Wilson. Starting at 2:30 in the morning we did the approach hike in the dark, timing our arrival at the start of the climb for sunrise. We had calculated our speed slower than our usual daytime speed, but we ended up walking even slower. The difficult terrain decreased our speed even further and made us miss the target time.

Walking in the dark is always interesting. Your focus is on a beam of light all else is darkness. We pass animals, birds, plants, cliffs, lakes, streams, and even mountains; but it they do not reach our beam of light they go unseen. We follow the beam. We only see the beam. Big holes might look small in the shadows of the beam or small holes might look big in the shadow of the beam. Reality is the beam. Life becomes only your pace and the light of your path.

Luckily after climbing the Wilsons we returned on the same trail that we hiked in the darkness. We saw why there was a major climb on the trail - a cliff sent the trail over it. We saw the waterfall we only heard. We saw all of the rocky trail which slowed us down. We saw the life outside of the beam.

We start our hikes in the dark because we need extra time, not because we enjoy stumbling in the dark. Modern headlamps make the hike easier, but we never know just what we might be missing... "lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my."

Happy trails.


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