Welcome back! Tonight during our Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick we are going to chat about a whole new kind of dark. We are talking about the night and what it might mean to someone who has never before experienced it.
Quite awhile back, I remember someone mentioning to me that they had recently watched a show on TV, some sort of informal documentary about our night sky. Doing a bit of research, I have to admit that I was puzzled.
Now, anyone who has tried to find a particular thing through Google’s magic knows that wording is everything and although it can be quite often, easy, to come up with lots of information, one also must admit that there are times it feels as if a black-hole has swallowed any information that you might actually be looking for.
This is what I know: Light pollution has stolen away most of the world’s view of the night sky. Chisana is located deep within the Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve and surrounded by the beautiful mountains that give the Park its name. Our darkest nights are black and the stars are so bright and numerous they inspire dreams and joy to all who gaze upward.
A Whole New Kind of Dark
This dark I speak of is the dark we live with in Chisana. There are no city lights, no headlights from passing cars, no bleeding of brightness stretching through the clouds of night. Dark is dark and some nights when the overcast clouds block the stars and the moon has yet to renew itself, this means dark is black. The kind of dark people say “we couldn’t see our hand in front of our faces” about.
What’s that noise? Our imaginations tend to kick into high gear in the dark. This can be pretty unsettling to some people. Normal sounds of nature, the wind, the waters and of course, the sounds of wildlife are all amplified and can become sinister in the dark.
Everything from the tiniest vole (about the size of a small mouse) to the Grizzly Bear and Alaska-Yukon Moose wanders around in this wilderness they call home and that we share with them. In the quiet air, sounds carry very well and when our own fears of the unknown are on high alert, these sounds can seem amplified.
Now. This isn’t to say that what you are hearing is NOT a critter of some sort wandering close or through camp. Only that to remind you that your guides are also attuned to these sounds, listening to everything and alert to anything that may pose a threat to you, the camp or the horses, with bells ding-dinging around as they graze their dinners.
Here is a very comforting point to always remember, if you find yourself feeling a bit uneasy in the dark with strange sounds on your Adventure: The horses by nature are prey. They are without fail alert to any kind of disturbance or threat. As you listen to the rhythmic sounds from the motion of their bells ding-dinging as they graze, it is easy to determine when they are upset or frightened in any way.
When all else fails, let your guide know that the dark is making you very uneasy. Talking about it and having your guide point out what different sounds belong to can go a long ways in putting you at ease. Bringing along the flashlight, headlight and extra batteries for both that are on your gear list will also offer comfort.
It is a beautiful and rapidly disappearing gift, the true dark of night. Embrace and experience it while you are here. You will not be alone and it is another precious gift of Chisana for you to return home with.
I hope you enjoyed A Whole New Kind of Dark and if you would like to enjoy more of our Campfire Chat videos, you can find the link under the blog tab at the top of the page! (Or by clicking on the words!) Be sure to leave any questions you may have about our lives here, what we do or how and why we do.