Friday, July 17, 2009

View from the sticks

I had an interesting experience last night that brought back a lot of memories, this is what happened.
The annual 12 hour endurance mountain bike race is going on this weekend at our local trail and the Rep for the Night Rider Technical lighting company rolled in to town to support the race. He showed up at the bike shop yesterday and he and my boss decided to put together an impromptu night ride last night. After some phone calls, dusk comes and 18 riders showed up. The Night Rider Rep hands out loaner lights to anyone who did not have their own and off we went in to the woods. I have ridden this trail many times over the years in the daytime but never at night so I did not really know what to expect. What I found out was that it is with the right equipment it is like riding in the daytime but twice as fun. I am going to be doing this more often.
The memories it brought back was how in the Rangers we were creatures of the night. The vast majority of the time our schedule was inverted and we would sleep during the day and do operations all night. The darkness was our friend and we were very comfortable in it. It even got to the point where the climbing team I was on would climb and do fairly technical operations at night.
My challenge to the readers of this post is this. Go outside this summer and discover the night. It does not matter if it is looking at stars in the backyard, walking around the neighborhood, hiking, or biking in the woods. Go out and experience it. A few tips, give your eyes a half hour to adapt to the darkness. The center of your vision is a blind spot at night, look off to the side of something you want to see clearly at night. Once your eyes have adapted to the darkness protect it as much as possible. Use a red filter on your flashlight or close one eye if you must use white light to see something. It you don't it will take a while for your night vision to come back.
The night time world out there is fun to explore and get comfortable in. Give it a try!


Weaseldog said...

I used to do a lot of night time hiking and boulder climbing when I was younger and unmarried.

The wilds have a dramatically different look and feel when lit by the moon and the stars.

ExRanger said...

Hi Weaseldog,
I agree, its like there is a whole alternate world out there that sort of resembles the one we are familiar with but is much more mysterious.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

Loved that post, felt once again really understood... you know you see things the same way...

And yes in the beginning when I started reading it, I also thought right away, you really should be used to moving at night, since were special forces...

When I was child I remember many other children being afraid of the dark, but I always found that it was amazing how much light you could find in the dark and yes, I also always felt that the darkness was my friend!

Thanks for being interested in writing on the ">Good to Know"-blog.
I now need your e-mail address so I can send you your access-information.
Mine is:

see you around!

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...
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