NASIR RAZA: The Arizona Republic newspaper headline said: “WATCH THE SUPER WOLF BLOOD MOON IN ARIZONA SUNDAY NIGHT”. And the report said: Total eclipse would begin at 9:41 p.m. and peak at 10:12 p.m, Jan. 20. The total eclipse will last about an hour, ending at 10:43 p.m. Skies will be mainly clear with temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s. It will be a wildly windy night. This full moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual as it will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, called perigee.
The name Wolf Moon, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, comes from the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior. In Winters when the full moon appeared the wolves howled in hunger outside the villages.
The Almanac and most sources fail to mention its affect on humans for reasons that are not clear.
The intrepid Steephikers group decides to forgo their day hikes and plan to go on the wolf blood moon hike to ostensibly have fun and dispose off the dark legends. Most drop out … some at the very last minute. A small fearless group decides to go on this hike to the top of Pinnacle Peak Mountain to see the blood moon … albeit with some trepidation.
The Real Story:
So I investigate and try to decipher the real story and tell it to my steephiker friend Anupa Ji and others who didn’t go.
Anupa Jee, here’s the real story that they made a pact never to tell anyone …
It was a dark and dreary night. The cold arctic wind cut like a knife, penetrating through layers of clothes and making their fingers and toes numb and faces icy cold and hard. While the rest of the world stayed home, tucked their children away and kept the fire going, this determined band of steephikers with unsmiling faces but resoluteness in their eyes, trudged on their mission up to the top of Pinnacle Peak Mountain. Their mission was to uncover the mysteries of the wolf moon. Some call it the blood moon.
Would this group be affected by this moon as our ancestors were? Will the primordial instincts be reawakened? Will they be able to control the demons that had afflicted the past generations? The sun had gone down and the wolf moon rose quickly … the whiteness turned pink and then dark blood red … packs of coyotes howled and they seemed to be coming closer; the wind screamed as a banshee.
The steep hikers group eventually made it down and back safely before midnight … well seemingly safe to appearances. You may, nay you must draw your own conclusions based on your experiences and imagination.
The only few steephikers who went on the Wolf Blood Moon Hike: Aroosa Tabasum, Salina Ahmed, Shekhar Shah, his son Suvinay and friend Bhavin Shah. None of these steephikers have permitted a post-hike physical examination!
The wise and not so brave steephikers who had all sorts of excuses not to go included: Anupa Ji, Eram Khan, Faria Khan, Jay Jee, Jasmine Shah, Kiran Shah, Nadia Hasan, Sanam Raza, Haider Rizvi, Rozina and Nasir Raza.
The author is a Pakistani-American professional living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Note: all photos courtesy Shekhar Shah.