Months ago, a colleague proposed an exhilarating adventure: a sunrise hike. Eagerly, I accepted the challenge without giving it much thought. I envisioned a picturesque spring or autumn morning, with the sun rising at a reasonable hour. Little did I know that I would be reminded of my commitment in the midst of summer, when the days were at their longest, requiring us to rise earlier than ever before. This is the story of our sunrise hike, filled with preparation, unexpected challenges, and the pursuit of the perfect photograph.
After deciding on the week for our sunrise hike, we set our sights on a mountain with a breathtaking view. Sunrise was scheduled for approximately 5:30 am, which meant that we needed to meet at the foot of the mountain by 4 am. This, in turn, meant waking up at the ungodly hour of 3 am on a Friday, knowing we had a full day of work ahead.
The day before our adventure, I meticulously packed everything I would need for the hike. My wife, choosing not to sleep in our bedroom to avoid being disturbed, smiled and asked me with curiosity, “Are you looking forward to it?” “Do you know why you’re doing it?” Those questions lingered in my mind as I went to bed, hoping that the challenge ahead would be worth it.
Friday arrived, and with it, the dreaded 3 am wake-up call. After a quick breakfast, I embarked on my journey to the meeting point, enduring rain showers along the way. Arriving at the designated spot, we all shared the same thought: “I really don’t want to hike in the rain.” Fortunately, the weather forecast assured us that the rain would soon subside.
With headlamps secured to our heads, we began our ascent. We moved at a brisk pace through the forest, transitioning from the dark of night to the soft glow of morning twilight. The official estimated time for the ascent was 1 hour and 45 minutes, but we surprised ourselves by reaching the summit in just 1 hour and 15 minutes.
At the Summit
We reached the summit just in time for the sunrise at 5:30 am. Although the sky was cloudy, we were fortunate enough to witness the sun breaking through the overcast horizon. We shared a few snacks and I hurriedly snapped some photos. The rush of the moment made it difficult to capture the perfect shot, and I struggled to find an ultimate motive to frame.
As quickly as we had arrived at the summit, we packed our belongings, congratulated each other on our successful adventure, and parted ways at the parking lot. Everyone drove home, with the looming prospect of a full day of work.
Back to Reality
Upon my return home, I was greeted with a warm smile from my wife, who had already enjoyed her breakfast. After a quick shower, I was ready to dive into my home office tasks by 8:30 am.
As the day progressed, fatigue began to set in, exacerbated by the early morning start and the physical exertion of the hike. After lunch, and especially after 6 pm, I felt the weight of the long day bearing down on me. To combat the drowsiness, we took a short walk, appreciating the simple pleasure of fresh air and movement.
I had brought my trusty camera along for the hike, hoping to capture the breathtaking sunrise. However, the cloudy conditions proved to be a challenge, and the time constraints at the summit added pressure to my photography endeavors. I took numerous shots, but the one featured here might be the best of the lot. It became evident that I needed more practice to truly master the art of sunrise photography.
Our sunrise hike adventure, filled with early mornings, unexpected rain, and the pursuit of the perfect photograph, was a test of determination and dedication. While it may have been physically demanding and mentally exhausting, the experience left me with a sense of accomplishment and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of nature. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best experiences in life require us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace the challenges that come our way. As for my wife’s questions, “Are you looking forward to it?” and “Do you know why you are doing it?” The answer is clear: I did it for the love of adventure and the thrill of chasing the sunrise, and it was worth every early morning moment.