I rose at 3 AM after a fitful night of sleep. Kelly has been sick and I had to cancel plans for an early sunrise hike, knowing I couldn’t commit to being there. Her fever broke overnight and so when my alarm went off, I scooted out for a drive. It seems that the only people up at this hour are the early-birds ( like myself ) and those who are still up after a wild night of partying. Those at the tail end of their buzz and those of us who are just getting our buzz on. I remember those other days. I remember staying out way too late and thinking some greasy breakfast at some random diner would make me safe to drive. Those were actually pretty sad days, truth be told.

It’s a holiday weekend and there are more cars than usual on the interstate. I-90 at this hour is still better than at any other time but it is weird to have company at all. I hang in there until Exit 47. THAT is my salvation. I head towards Denny Creek campground and roll past the trailhead at Franklin Falls. My Cathedral awaits among boulders just a few miles up the road. As I drive through the old forest that leads to church I begin to gauge the clouds as to whether they will hold a moody sunrise of blues and pinks or whether it will warm the sky with an orange and red glow. I can’t tell this morning. It’s too early.

I’m becoming selfish about this morning ritual. I look forward all week to rising before dawn and welcoming the day. I just bought a tent and I am giddy at the possibility of waking to these folds of color without a drive or early morning effort. I can’t wait to bask in the glow.

This morning the clouds creeped in and the sun only shone on the highest peaks, and even then, briefly. Still, it was an hour of deliciousness. Almost palatable.

I brought a real camera today and took a few shots experimenting with filters. Mostly I use an auto setting but today I got to play. I’m still lousy at it, but it’s fun for me even in my imperfection. That seems to be a true statement about me in many regards : Lousy at it, but having fun despite my glaring imperfection. It could easily be my mantra. And isn’t the “having fun” part what it’s all about anyway ?

I have just eight working days this month and after the 15th, I’ll be off until August.

I Can. Not. Wait.

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