Hiking at dusk | AspenTimes.com

Hiking at dusk

Chad Abraham

I had to get a hike in, even if it was dusk. It had been that kind of day, where a small dose of wilderness and sweat helps to alleviate stress.It was just before dusk, actually, but even so, I knew I had to hurry before dark descended. This was the time when predators do their thing, after all. But surely they wouldn’t come after me, right? My karma reserve should allow for a better demise than to be felled by a cougar, but it could happen to anyone.After telling myself I wouldn’t stop, couldn’t stop, because of the fading light, I paused at a scenic scene of Mount Sopris at dusk. Beyond dusk. I turned back and looked at the dark-brown trail. Taking in the panorama had tricked my eyes into thinking there was more light than I thought, and I started back down the trail, slower this time.Eventually, my eyes adjusted, as if I were in a movie theater, and my pace picked up. At the small summit, I didn’t stop as I turned onto another trail that would take me down to the road, the road to my car.The mind wanders when the main task is physical, and I kept thinking how easy it would be to go off trail in complete darkness. I still had a little light and finding the path proved to not be a problem. At another overlook, I knew I was just a few hundred yards from the road.It was these last steps that proved the slowest. Daylight had evaporated, and I slowed to a cautious walk as a trail I had been on many times grew foreign in the dark.Hiking is always a good use of time, provided you have plenty of it. Or a flashlight.