Texting while driving is known to be almost as dangerous as driving under the influence. A more dangerous activity that is rarely mentioned is driving while star gazing. If you live in a city, this probably isn’t a problem for you. (More)
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In the North woods driving on a winding two lane road with hills and curves on a moonless night is a challenge. Driving while star gazing is definitely dumb.
Last night I had a meeting in town which ended after about 9 pm. It was pitch black. The first challenge was finding my car in the parking lot as the facility had no exterior lighting or street lamps. Fortunately the automatic unlock button also turns on my headlights. This was a National Forest Service building – the same people who worry about the fact that when the expensive handicapped faucet breaks I replace it with a garden hose type faucet from the hardware store. Hello! Lighting? Lighting anyone?
My campground is 11 miles from town. It is a road I could probably drive in my sleep but I suppose everyone that slams into a tree or drives off a cliff has said something like that to themselves. I slowed down for the section of road where two little wolf pups cross on occasion. I looked up at the night sky and the big dipper was just hanging there so magnificently it took my breath away. Although the car was still moving, I was so mesmerized that I was probably a danger to myself, any oncoming cars if one should appear and probably wildlife who had reason to think most of us humans were tucked in for the night. I shook my head and decided to pay attention to the driving.
There are lots of deer up here which will cause significant damage to your car if you hit one. There is also very rarely a moose. If you hit a moose the car damage most likely won’t concern you because odds are you’ll be dead. This brings to mind the Larry Miller quote about the difference between men and women from Just Words: “My dad’s job was to worry about the big issues, like whether the planets are still in their orbits. My mom’s job was to worry about the little issues, like ‘Gil, you’re about to hit a moose.'”