Up Before the Sun

We’ve all seen them–those glorious light filled photos that pop up on our Instagram feed before we’ve even rolled out of bed. The mere thought of this early morning wake up call makes most of us cringe and pull our covers even tighter over our heads. But as golden colored clouds and sun flares greet us while we enjoy our first sip of coffee, it’s hard to not wonder what it would take to really just get out and do it.

Well, last Sunday my friend Sondra and I decided to stop envying other peoples early morning glory and experience it for ourselves. Sure, waking up at 3am never sounds like a great idea, but after a few week hiatus from hiking, a new pack to test out and the promise of coffee at the summit, I couldn’t have jumped out of bed any faster at the sound of my alarm clock.

After an hour on the freeway, groggily attempting to have meaningful conversations, we found ourselves on a bumpy, mountain road in search of our trailhead. After a little bit of uncertainty and the first peak of morning light, we threw our packs on and hit the trail, eager to make it to the top before the sun rose over the majestic peaks of the Cascades.

We were certain that the 1.6 mile trail would be an easy morning jaunt to the top. Sadly, we were absolutely wrong. I’m definitely embarrassed to admit how hard it really was. I’ll blame the early morning, lack of coffee, hunger pains, oh and the 1,300 feet of elevation gain.

After what seemed like 536 switchbacks, the trees cleared and we saw–fog. At this point I’m really hoping I didn’t just sweat through an entire fleece jacket for fog. Well, it turned out to be the best thing possible.

After reaching the summit, we were greeted by some other early morning hikers, sipping on beer and mimosas, good choice guys–but I’ll stick with my morning coffee, thanks.

What ensued was the most glorious, foggy, sun ray filled sunrise I’ve ever seen. Mount Catherine, you did not disappoint. Oh and the 3am wake up call? Totally worth it.

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