Fading Light, Missing Moon

Cheeseboro Canyon trailhead

The sun was low and the shadows long when I reached the Cheeseboro Canyon trailhead. My watch read 6 miles. I wasn’t sure if I’d taken the shortest route from the Ahmanson Ranch Victory trailhead, but I did know it was going to be a challenge to get back before dark.

Gusty 15-30 mph northeast winds seemed to be growing stronger as the sun set and daylight began to wane. No crickets chirped and no coyotes howled. I pushed on, cursing the gusts and relishing the wind shadows.

Wait a minute — wasn’t there a moon? Didn’t I see a crescent just a couple days ago? Turning, I scanned the sky to the southwest. No moon. For a while I deferred the problem of the missing moon and continued to run.

But there had to be moon. I stopped to check. No moon. Finally, I looked up and found the first quarter moon 60 degrees high in the Winter sky, hiding above the brim of my cap.

No worries now. Even if I was a little slow.