Sunrise: 7:58 am // Sunset: 4:32 pm
I don’t think of myself as a morning person, at least not most of the time. Morning people get up without an alarm, at 5am, and are happy, energetic, and may go for a 10 mile run before breakfast. THAT is not me. I have three alarms set every morning, and even then I have a hard time dragging myself out of my cozy, warm bed.
But I do love being up early. I love being the only person up in my house, feeling the quiet as I make my coffee, or watching the darkness wane outside my window. I love hearing the songs of the birds at dawn, of going for a walk and smelling all the wood stoves starting up, of feeling as though the world is still a little sleepy and somehow I’m ahead of the game. When I can actually drag myself out of bed, I never regret it.
Somehow this weekend I decided I should watch the sunrise from Picnic Rock, up on Verstovia. This weather can’t be clear forever, and there isn’t much snow around to slow down the hike, and most importantly, sunrise is only going to get earlier from now on! I convinced Michelle to join me (okay, she didn’t need “convincing,” she is always up for anything) and we planned to start hiking at 6 in order to get up there before 8.
Sadly, I slept through my first alarm. Missing an alarm by half an hour, when you have a baby to feed and things still to pack, makes for a rough morning. I poured boiling water over my hand as I made coffee to bring, made a mess of the kitchen, and left without being completely sure that I had a headlamp, despite my intention to bring two. I was foggy, to say the least. We didn’t start hiking until 6:30.
But, once we were out of the car and on the trail (and yes, I had a headlamp), all was good. It didn’t matter if we made it for the moment of sunrise; it was early, and dark, and we were hiking. We made pretty good time and got up to Picnic Rock just minutes after the sun peeked over the mountains. At which point the coffee and donuts that I brought were completely worth any pain they had brought me earlier! We hung out in the sun for about half an hour before the wind started kicking up and chilling us down. It wasn’t yet 9 when we were back on the trail heading down.
The good thing with getting out early is that you still have time left in the day for other things! That afternoon, we did a family boat ride down to Crawfish Inlet, breaking our way through the ice in Cedar Pass only to be turned around early in Crawfish due to more ice (with no end in sight).
On the way home, I stopped the boat for a few minutes near Cape Burunof, because the sunset was too awesome to speed through. Being on the water at sunset always seems so magical to me, with the colors feeling a little out-of-this-world. This time of year is just awesome for sunsets! It is simultaneously energizing and peaceful to watch the sun slip beyond the horizon, especially when are tired from a hike, cold from the weather, and are ready to head towards a warm home and a cozy bed.