wake up for the sunrise

Mar 17, 2021 | Columbia Gorge, Hiking, My Adventure Stories, Oregon

A new text vibrated my phone.

“Do you want to go on a hike with me?”

My youngest was asking me if I wanted to go on a hike with her. Like there was any question in the world. I answered with far too many exclamation points, and we started the fun process of figuring out where to go. We landed on the Angels Rest hike, a popular Oregon destination.

Then I decided to throw in a twist. “Do you want to get up early and try and catch the sunrise?” I figured that my sleep loving teen would probably say no. She said yes. I was ecstatic.

The night before our hike, my sleep was terrible. We have an old dog who sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night in confusion. This night, he was so restless. I let him out. I let him back in. I gave him some food. It felt like I was getting no sleep at all. When her 4:30 text came in, I groaned when she cheerily let me know she was up. It was so tempting to postpone our departure time by a few hours. But I couldn’t forget that the night before I had texted her these words:

“No great adventure started with ‘I was super cozy and warm and slept in late’.”

Begrudgingly I fell out of bed and made myself some coffee.

Slowly though the blood started moving and by the time we arrived, I was getting excited. The parking lot was empty at the early hour. As we strapped on our headlamps, our warm exhalations creating quiet cloud puffs in the cold morning air, I was grateful that I had fought off the urge to stay in comfort.

We hiked companionably, chatting about life and listening to the birds as they began to sing in the gradual light. We spotted our first trillium of the season, and we talked about how you always have to hike the trail you are on after she noticed just how high we were going to have to climb to get to the top.

At the summit, we made hot cocoa and watched the sky grow from pink to blue.

Waking up for the sunrise is always worth it. Walking out your door is always worth it. Finding the edge of your comfort zone, well, you know. It’s worth it.


Explore Angels Rest

This hike is quite popular during the day. Arrive early for parking. Sunset is also quite lovely from the viewpoint. Be sure to carry a headlamp for the return trip down as the trail is quite rocky in places. Your hike can be extended along the Angel’s Rest trail towards Wahkeena Falls and up the Foxglove trail towards Devil’s Rest.


About The Author

About The Author

Teri Smith is starting her third act as a photographer, writer and adventure seeker in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more here.