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Evening Strolls With No Sweat

It might seem like common sense to a beginner to see sunrise and sunset as mirror images of each other. It certainly did for me, many years ago. The middle of the day isn't good for much besides scalding sunlight and wind.

And this mirror image mindset worked reasonably well. Until it didn't.

I got started too late in the day once on a mountain bike ride, lost my trail, and panicked about the approach of sunset. As a result I read a few books about outdoor survival and safety. One point came through loud and clear: an evening outing is drastically more dangerous than a morning one, especially for a solo hiker or biker. And this fact just isn't obvious until something has happened to you.

If something goes wrong for the morning hiker, he has all day to get rescued. But let the same misadventure happen to the evening outdoorsman, and he could be without help and die of exposure. High deserts, let alone mountains, are cold at night.

But it is hard to judge how much coldness at night is merely miserable versus lethal. In either case, just imagine how long it will be until dawn!

So I gave up going on outings towards sunset. Perhaps that was overdoing it. These days, we usually have cellphone reception and there is more traffic on some roads, possibly helping you out. The temperature doesn't plummet at sunset in all places like it does in, say, New Mexico.

(It is always gratifying to turn lemons into lemonade. Rather than groaning about worse and worse crowding in the outdoors, it would be nice, for once, to see it as an advantage.)

So an evening stroll down safe easy trails or roads makes sense, particularly so if you have an older dog.

I have taken my RV to Mexico twice. Once I noticed a father walking his young daughter, by the hand, most evenings before sunset. This struck me perhaps because I had never seen that in the USA. He seemed quite pleased and proud of his little princesa. Let that be my inspiration, as I walk my old sweetheart in the evening.