Monday, January 09, 2006

Full moon fools

One of my favorite winter adventures is cross-country skiing by the light of the moon. A winter moon can pretty much light your way, and I've seen nights so bright you can read a map by moonlight. But there's one thing to remember as you plan your full-moon adventure for Saturday (the date of the next full moon): it could be cloudy. We were cross-country skiing in Grand County one night under the light of a beautiful moon. The terrain wasn't technical, but it rolled along through the trees and meadows. We were thinking of the bonfire and hot cider that awaited us when we returned, when a huge cloud engulfed the moon. We had packed headlamps in our backpacks, but in our haste to head out, we hadn't checked the batteries, and we ended up with three lamps for four skiers. We learned something that night: Skiing by headlamp is different than skiing by moonlight. It's not quite as ethereal...more physical and a lot clumsier. Those little rolls and turns that were almost effortless in the moonlight seemed to grow harder in the dark, and by the time we were done, every one of us had fallen off the trail at least once. Forecast for Saturday: Mostly clear. What the forecast means: Check your headlamp batteries. This image is from a NASA site - check it out so you can sound really knowledgeable about the moon.
- Deb

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