Missing the moon

Last year, I wrote about the moon during the Vapor Trail 125 - the light of the nearly full moon illuminating the Colorado Trail as we started, creating ghost-like shadows on the Chalk Cliff and then vanishing behind the mountains as we climbed up towards Hancock. There was darkness in those trees - the total darkness a September night brings. And then the climb over the Continental Divide for the first time. The darkness was banished by the orange moon hanging low against the horizon. Truly surreal, combined with the tiny dots of lights across the valley. A moment that can only be experienced once and one that I was thrilled to be immersed in.

This year, there will be no moon. Perhaps, if I am lucky, the sliver of moon will appear as I climb up Granite Mountain. But otherwise, just the darkness of night and the chill of that darkness. Who know what lurks in the shadows of the backcountry? Without the moon, the noises will remain just a mystery - an incentive to pedal faster. If it is clear, the stars will provide somewhat of a distraction from the climbing, but that clearness will wrap the trail in alpine cold. Who knows what will greet me this Saturday night?

The darkness calls. To find the answers is to test myself to the limits.

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