It was the birds that woke me up. I opened my eyes to the soft light of pre-dawn, and listened to the joyous chorus of overlapping songs. It was as if they were trying to summon the sun by the sheer exuberance of their voices.
With a bit of struggling, I disengaged myself from the snug cocoon of my sleeping bag, and looked at the time. 5:10 AM. I could hear Steve already up, rustling around down by the campfire. I stood up and peered through the window flap of our tent. The sky was just beginning to show some hints of pink.
The mountain air was fresh on my face – not so cold as to be unpleasant, but cool enough to discourage any thoughts of lingering in the tent. Well, that, and the knowledge that a cup of coffee would be waiting for me out by the fire.
I quickly dressed, got Jackson out of his hammock, and grabbed my camera. My reward for the early wake-up would be watching the sunrise.
The light pink deepened to a golden orange, reflecting like fire on the surface of the lake. Then, in a bounding blaze, the sun sailed above the horizon.
I sat in my camp chair, hugging my coffee cup in my hands, while Steve stoked up the fire. Jackson gazed out at the lake, a look of happy contentment on his face.