The Coming Long DarknessSigh-this is the toughest time of year for me. The heavy rains have arrived here in the Northwest and the backcountry is beginning to wear its winter coat. I can handle the rain just fine-and the cold too-it's the darkness that works on me. With a sunset at 4:45 now and losing another minute a day until mid-December, the darkness is tough to deal with. Sure, it means I just need to spend more time in front of my computer working on my two manuscripts due next summer. I need to catch up-this has been a record year on the trail-and a record amount of time away from the home office! I'll need to take my daily runs earlier now and shorten my hiking trips. And--most importantly-cut my calories back. I'm not training for a marathon right now nor hiking 20 miles in a day. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, and Orthodox Christmas coming up-I can see a lot of food in my immediate future. Okay, better plan on signing up for a spring marathon. Embrace the darkness-stay well-and cherish the light when it returns.
(photo-evening approaches at the Clearwater Lookout, Umatilla National Forest, Garfield County, WA)