Chasing Sunsets
Reid Wiegleb

I am giving you a challenge: How many sunsets can you grab this summer?

Sunsets are that magnetic time of day when nature turns down the volume and canary light filters through the trees, building into finger-like rays blasting between mountain peaks. Aureate light cascading from the sky does magical things for the soul. So, chase them, and chase them hard; they are among life’s greatest gifts. Done properly, a good sunset chase brings friends together, and makes the toughest people a little softer around the edges, even if for only a moment. Each time I leave a sunset I am topped with a little extra creativity, and honest abandon.

Be it on a whim or planned long in advance, all it really takes is a quick text to pals “I’m feeling a mountaintop and a sunset. What do you say?” Rarely, if ever, has anyone said no. Even if you have to go alone, it will be worth your effort. My favorite plans start late in the day, when there is just enough time to run to a cool place and sprint up a trail. Chasing them in such a way has taught me to enjoy the moment and to be content with where I am. Committing to a plan when there are endless options can be tough. Could there be a better place to watch from? Perhaps, but whatever the plan, trust me-- it will be just right. Oftentimes the pace of the moment and the ephemeral nature of sunsets dictates the necessity to hold fast to one plan. In trying to get to the spot you think is better to watch from, you are more likely to miss the show than taking what is right in front of you.

Use a sunset chase as an excuse to go to a new beach or see an old crag in a new light. I experienced some of my most favorite corners of the world for the first time in pursuit of a sunset spot. At the same time, hoofing it up a trail to make an overlook before the sun dips below the horizon can be just as good of a way to be reintroduced to an old favorite.

There is no better use of an afternoon than a sunset chase. It is a lot better than wasting it away scrolling through social media feeds or lounging through another Netflix series. There are few excuses that preclude someone from a sunset chase—make it happen. As much as sunsets are about going cool places, to me, sunsets are about living presently in brief moments,. The fleeting stories written out of a single sunset will fill friendships and hearts long after the last golden ray has waned. So, get out there, chase one, and live a moment. Maybe even today.

Photo by Reid Wiegleb

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