sunrise over snow and red stones, Capitol Reef National Park

Taming the beast for the beauty of a good view

Red cliffs in snow at Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, Utah
Red cliffs at Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, Utah

Over the winter holidays, we toured a few national parks in southern Utah and we prepared:

  • tripod for sunrise and sunset shots? Yes!
  • hand and toe warmers for taming the temps at those hours? Definitely!
  • head to toe layers of clothing? Oh yes!
  • mindset to jump out of a warm bed and tromp around in the snow to find a good spot to wait for sunrise? Not so much; this is much more difficult for me to commodify.

I love sunrises and sunsets; each one I get to experience is a blessing and bonus. Some are easier to watch than others-it’s much easier to rise in the summer than winter. Granted, winter sunrises are later but, there are the issues of low temps and snow! I find that, as I get older, I’m less tolerant of the cold.

When I lived in interior Alaska, I often was out for errands or even recreation at beastly temps of -30 or more. Yes, it could be uncomfortable and even dangerous but, you work with the weather you have. You prepare, you dress for it and try to be wise and smart in how you interact with your environment.

On this trip, the weather and skies were not very promising for sunrises with snow showers and fog predicted. I was a bit sad to miss the clear mornings but also secretly happy that we’d not be heading out into the cold so early! However, one morning was going to be clear so we planned to go out to a place we’d scouted and see what revealed itself.

We watched the sun rise above the fog, create “diamonds” in the ice crystals of the trees and grasses and illuminate the red cliffs all around us. It was beautiful as sunrises always are with the promises of a new day-even if not spectacular for photographs. My toes and hands were warm and, most importantly, I was sharing sunrise with my Sweetheart. It was exhilarating.

With my Sweetheart at sunrise

What a privilege: to be another day older, to be on a trip to a new place and with my boon companion, with a lovely camera for photographs, plenty of clothing, toe and hand warmers and a sunrise as a bonus.

I offered a prayer for those for whom the brightness of the day does not bring so much gladness and warmth; there are many.

Where did I find mia kali thea that day?

In the cold and snow, in the glow of red cliffs, in the warmth of much gratitude and in the hope and promise of the new day’s sunrise.

Sunrise at Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, Utah

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