Oct 26, 2007

Shall We Say. . .Sunrise At Dawn?

What a sunrise this morning, eh? I took the Mrs. to work this morning over on the west side of PDX. After I dropped her off, the eastern sky was just beginning to turn pink. Forget about going back home on I-84! Sensing the possibility of a great visual experience, I detoured to I-5 North and headed back east via Marine Drive.

Marine Drive didn't let me down. The night sky reluctantly gave way to dawn, changing by the second. Mt. Hood was a black silhouette against a pinkish-orange sky when I first cleared the trees past Jubitz truck stop. Once I was past 33rd Ave, I had a wonderful view of the entire eastern sky, all aglow. Enough of this driving stuff, I wanted to stare at Mt. Hood! So I parked. And stared. And began experiencing the quiet awe of a day's infancy.

Fog was swirling around the indistinct southern slope of the mountain, while the northern slope was a crisp surgeon's cut through the pinkish-orange glow.The invisible sun was directly behind Mt. Hood from my vantage point.

Then, appearing all along the north slope, a thin, very thin pencil line of white light. On the south side? Nothing but the swirling fog, surrounded by the always- shifting pink, rose and orange sky.The white pencil line remained narrow, but got brighter and brighter. The colors were changing within the fog on the south slope. The fog now looked like a massive, orange, burning fire mist. And yet the sun itself was still entirely behind the mountain.

The fire-fog mist got brighter and brighter, as if Mt. Hood were a furnace and someone opened a door on the mountain's south slope, and the fire burst out. But still no sun. Just fire-fog. The brilliant white pencil line on the north slope remained razor-thin and bright against a glowing clear sky.

Then it happened in an instant. The top edge of the sun burst into view just to the right of the summit. An explosion of blinding light. After a demure, colorful and emotional introduction via hide and seek , night turned to day with brute force. It caught me by surprise. I could no longer stare, but the excitement of this grand entrance gave me goose bumps.

I started the car and drove back onto Marine Drive. The low angle of the sun made for a near-blinding experience the rest of the way to Troutdale. But the sun's grand performance was a mind-opening one. Was blind, but now, I see. . . .

No comments: