Spring came early this year. The lake near our home was declared free of ice on March 11th, one of the earliest dates recorded for this event and there has been an explosion of crocuses in front of the local library. I knew that daylight savings time had been moved to the second Sunday in March about 10 years ago but it still seemed a bit early to be thinking of extra daylight, Spring and outdoor activities.
In honor of Daylight Savings Time, we decided to celebrate with a sunrise hike up Bald Rock Mountain. We dutifully set the alarm for 4:30 in order to be at the trail-head by 5:30, before blissfully settling down for the night. As morning approached, I awoke to the sound of another family member wandering around the house. Opening one eye, I glanced at my clock to see it was only 3:30 and tried to snuggle deeper into the blankets. Then I realized that I had not pushed my clock forward the night before. Since my husband’s clock was set for the alarm, I hoped that he had remembered Daylight Savings Time. I sat up, glanced at his timepiece and found that he had forgotten as well.
So, maybe a sunrise hike when there are too many time variables was not such a good idea. Although a little disoriented as a result of our time error, we still managed to get ready for our morning adventure. As we got into the car, a quick glance at the star filled night sky predicted an excellent sunrise. We arrived at the trail-head just 10 minutes behind schedule and were soon heading up the Multi-Use Trail.
I am not a big fan of hiking in the dark but I also did not want to miss the show, so I focused on the small circle of light from my headlamp and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. It was interesting how my perception of time and distance changed with the inability to make out where I was along the trail, for it seemed like it wasn’t long before someone mentioned that we were at the Bald Rock trail-head. I do believe that I would have just continued straight along the Multi-Use Road if I had not been informed of the turn-off.
We let the younger members of the family go on ahead, while we slowed our pace for the incline of the new trail. We did have to stop once or twice as we made our way up the trail and I wondered if we would miss the show. Nearing our destination, the darkness was beginning to recede enough for us to turn off our headlamps and soon enough we were on the mountain top.
We sat in awe as the clouds took on a pink hue in the predawn light. Just before the sun started to break the horizon, the clouds reflected the morning sun and seemed to be on fire. Then slowly, the sun made its appearance, continuing one of the most inspiring displays that nature can offer. As difficult as it was to rise from bed before the sun, it was worth the journey.