A welcome cool breeze blows over the raised platform overlooking the mountains of northwest New Jersey just before sunrise on a Tuesday morning. The clouds dance in the sun’s pastel painting, illuminating the rolling hills in a soft glow. It doesn’t feel like the state known for farmland and suburban sprawl. It feels lonesome in a good way. The morning has given me energy that seems to only come with the joy of nature’s beauty and its unique scenery. At this point it feels like I could do anything.
Providence is a beautiful, small city with water everywhere, making the sunrise quite picturesque from wherever you see it. I was lucky enough to be working about 100 feet from this view at dawn so I was able to sneak off and watch the light arrive and start reflecting off of everything. A lone kayaker paddled down the river in the morning calm. Sadly I had to pull myself away to go back to work, but the views from all around the nearby park were fantastic. This is certainly a city I haven’t spent enough time in for how close it is to where I’ve lived most of my life.
Seeing views like this in New Jersey is something unexpected but always welcome. The beautiful views from High Point State Park are unmatched in the state in my opinion. They call it Skylands for a reason. Hiking up the steep ridge in the morning fog to find a view of the sun coming up over the smoky mountains northwest New Jersey was an amazing feeling. I could have stayed there all day, but as the sun got higher I moved on. The views persisted, but never rivaled those few moments of peaceful, silent beauty at this overlook.
One morning last year I woke up in an AT shelter in North Jersey before sunrise and then had a transcendent morning of hiking through High Point State Park as the sky changed colors all around me. From the vantage point higher than anything in New Jersey I could see rolling mountains all around and a sky bigger than I knew New Jersey ever had. Watching from the overlook tower while the cool morning breeze dried the sweat on my face, I was involuntarily smiling the whole time. It was one of my favorite moments.
Morning in the midwest had such epic beginnings when the sunrise began nearly an hour before our star crossed the horizon. The pillowy clouds stretched on for miles in the sky, carrying the soft morning glow from around the curve of the earth and lighting our pre-dawn drives. The great expanses that make up the middle of the country are quiet except for the occasional roar of tractor trailers on the interstate and the thoughts in our heads as we watch the day unfold.
Some people enjoy familiar surroundings and the comfort of home, but for me, waking up to a new sunrise in a different place every day is perfect. Opening the tent and seeing a colorful sky over Lake Powell was a great surprise since I didn’t set an alarm or plan to wake up. The colors briefly streaked before the sun came over the tops of the canyons and began to shimmer in the lake water.
One of the challenges to being on the road is finding a place to sleep every night. Places like Wyoming, which we drove through yesterday, don’t have a lot of places to stop. We set up camp at a rest stop inside a picnic shelter with our tent and it was windy but good. The morning brought this incredible sunrise just outside our tent food. Sometimes you get lucky.
We got up quite early to go find a spot near Lake Michigan for sunrise. It’s a good thing we did since it’s not that easy to find parking along Lake Shore Drive. The sky was great and the sunset was beautiful over the water as it lit up the city. I wanted to post a shot from behind my camera since this is what I see a lot of the time and I just really like this shot.