Vermont Mountain Sunrise | Mount Abe
Some mornings are foggy and ominous, forcing the covers up around you as you drift back into a slumber. Other mornings provide a spectacular view, awing you with every color of the rainbow.
I am happy to say this particular morning was the latter.
Let’s Set the Scene
The original plan to car camp at the trailhead was ditched when the weather read below freezing, and Erik got home later than expected. I was certainly pleased with the thought of sleeping in a warm bed– I think the boys were too.
We assembled our running packs, food, and warm clothing in anticipation of the morning’s adventure. We then tucked ourselves in for a short night of sleep, alarms set for 1AM & 2AM (Erik likes his morning coffee routine).
GPS directed us to the Mount Abe trailhead as we clunked our way down the road full of excitement and only a few sleepy eyes.
We Were Not the Only Ones…
Planning for a sunrise. As we pulled in, a woman briskly walked by us and up the trail. We quickly grabbed our headlamps, the boys and we scurried along as well.
We came up on her pretty quickly and she said a brief hello as we passed on by.
There is something so unique about night hiking. Only seeing what is right in front of you, it can be easy to zone out, which is something I particularly enjoy doing anyhow– giving your mind a chance to wander. Hiking often leads me to some of my most thoughtful and creative words and ideas.
The miles cruised by and soon enough we were getting glimpses of day break through the trees.
A Bright Band of Red..
Shone through the forest. Erik told me to look and I immediately said “Oh My $h!t”. Maybe not the most lady like of me, but in all honestly it took my breath away.
I soon got giddy and was rushing Erik to get to the top. This was the sunrise I had been yearning for.
You see, we had attempted over 5 sunrise hikes this summer and while the forecast read clear and little wind we found ourselves staring into the dewy wall of fog each time.
Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy mornings like this very much so as there is something so intense about knowing how high you are, yet unable to get your bearings as your visibility is less than 5ft in front of you. It is wild to say the least.
However, the weather channel was proving to be completely accurate as we broke out of the tree line and the skies opened up to reveal one of the reddest sunrise beginnings I had ever seen.
Now We Wait
Once out of the tree line, it was only a few more steps until we saw the rock shelter at the summit, where most hikers hide out from the wind. We were getting even luckier as there was NO wind!
I set up my GoPro to capture the sun rising and then I stood, watching the skyline change in front of me, clouds scattered all around. The boys were more intrigues by the birds, but I was entranced by the beauty before me.
How could I be this lucky? This was the thought that ran through my mind all morning. My legs powered me up this mountain, my eyes able to see the colors of the sky, my skin able to feel the gentle, cool breeze that adorned the summit and my mind able to remember it so vividly as I write about it now.
I know someday my legs will be weaker, my eyes too, the cold may be too much for me, and my mind may forget more often, but right now…..right now that is not the case– and I am grateful for that.
Smiles for the Remainder of the Day
We met up with our fellow sunrise chaser after we were solo on the summit for over 35 minutes. We exchanged another hello, and then were well on our way to descend, grasping every last view possible until we were back in the safety of the treeline.
It was all skips and singing on the way down as we passed by a few parties of hikers, all so eager to pay attention to the boys (who were equally happy to receive the love).
Once back at the car, Erik and I turned to each other, sighed a satisfying breath and mumbled our “Perfect timing” mantra to each other as the parking lot was filled with eager hikers, all confused as to how we were already done.
We grabbed our container of grapes, popped a few in our mouths and then drove towards our next destination: Apple picking and Thai food (both amazing times).
Until the next adventure, this one will remain fresh in my mind as one of my most favorite sunrise hikes in history.
Happy Tails and Trails,
Ciara, B & C
Stats for the day:
Mountain Enjoyed: Mount Abraham (Abe)
Elevation Gain: 2,275′
Starting Time: 4:58 AM
Ending Time: 8:23AM
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes (including 40 minute break at the summit)
Food consumed: None! Plenty of food consumed after though (apples, followed by yellow curry)
Happiness Meter: 10/10 I could not have dreamt of a better hike.