Predictably — indeed, predicted in this very column — the clocks being turned back has upset the sleep patterns of all except those who didn’t have a sleep pattern to begin with. For early birds who put on their hiking boots each morning (if you can imagine it), it has brought a changed world.
Instead of driving against the commuting traffic from Palmdale on the narrow, twisting Angeles Crest Highway in the darkness — headlights coming at you from every angle — it is now a traffic problem that sticking to the ordinary safety rules can fairly easily deal with. What looked like monsters can be seen as just ordinary people going to work as they do every day and, in the great majority of cases, doing it responsibly.
Once on the trail, there is still all the pleasure of a morning hike in stimulating surroundings but just as there had to be a late, late show for people who like to push the boundaries, so there was an early, early hike, with the spice of adventure about it that one in broad daylight lacks.
Yesterday I decided to do what I have not done for months, push the boundary at the other end and go as late as possible. This has its own magic, as the bowl of mountains turns from gold to a succession of glowing shades of orange and pink, all of them welcoming, until the moment comes when the sun is no longer on them and in an instant they become gray, cold and forbidding. Sometimes, though the day is still warm, you shiver a little at the hint of menace in all that wilderness and you’re glad you brought the flashlight, just in case ...