Most of us fall into one of two categories. You are either an early bird or a night owl. If you are like me, then you married the opposite which can make for some comical situations. However, each kind of person can enjoy trail town living.
There have been a few instances where I got up early enough to enjoy a solo run or bike ride. Usually, the one who is up and at ’em is my husband. I appreciated the allure of early bird life. The experience of the quiet early morning, the sun just over the hills, and the cool air before the dew burns off was savory.
One considerable advantage of living in a trail town is the opportunity to drive such a short distance to the trailhead. When out for a bike ride, I don’t need the car at all. When you want a ride or walk before the day gets started, you only need a few extra minutes for travel.
Earlier this year, we enjoyed a nighttime activity on the trail. We went on a guided hike on the night of the Strawberry Moon. A group of adults met at the Rail Trail office in Uniondale in the early evening. We were all practically giddy with excitement as someone played “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest on their phone.
When everyone had signed their waivers, we headed north from the Uniondale trailhead. We hiked about a mile and a half before we turned around. The darkness seemed to take a long time to envelop us. We kept flashlights off to preserve our night vision.
I was astonished by the difference in the trail from the change of seasons. I had snowshoed on this exact same stretch of the trail last winter, but it seemed like a different world to me now. Experiencing those changes keeps me coming back out. No two hikes are ever alike even on the same segment of the trail.
Darkness finally fell as we headed back. While chatting with my friend Katie I looked up and saw light coming through the trees. It was so bright that I expected to see the outline of a house with an enormous window. It was no window. It was the brightest, boldest, most beautiful full moon I had ever seen.
We stopped walking, each of us awe-struck by the sight. We attempted to take photos, of course. However, none of them could compare to seeing it with the naked eye. This was the reason we were out this evening and none went away disappointed.
The second best thing to savoring the natural beauty of a rare full moon is enjoying it with the community of trial people. You get to know people when you travel in the same direction for an amount of time.
Whether you will be out in the first rays of light, seeking the Strawberry Moon, or any time in between, trail people will be your people. All are welcome!