In the dark room, I can see through the narrow slits in the closed blinds, even in the blue-black hour just preceding dawn, it is going to be a clear morning. I rise and get out of bed as the coffee maker beeps completion, 4:55am. Dress and coffee and strap on my gear, warm the cat food in the microwave, there is little time to spare still I am not out the door till 530am and on my bike, Ballard Avenue, the Burke Gilman Trail, across the Fremont Bridge and up 400′ into Queen Anne, it is a grind until I crest near McGraw, my destination this time not 5th and Lynn to watch the sunrise over the Cascades, but Kerry Park, the iconic view of Downtown Seattle.
Mt. Rainier is southeast of Seattle so the sunrise here is not seen but inferred by the changing light on the massive white slopes and in the reflections on the windows of the sky skyscrapers downtown. I reach my destination and there is the mountain, my Monday motivation to get out of bed, looking almost Photoshopped into the scene, so massive and clearly defined over the city in the morning light.
I should have been here 10 minutes sooner to catch the best of the alpenglow, pink light painting the slopes.
There are two other people with cameras, a few more parked in cars; some run the stairs up from Prospect, all the gyms are closed. I am surprised there are not more people, but the sun keeps rising earlier, today 5:46am every day now until June 21 when it hits 5:12am and the reverses course again until December. The next two days call for cloud cover so Thursday is my next chance, so I linger longer than intended, how many more mornings like this will there be, finally the golden morning hour passes and the light settles in to a pleasant stasis, so I peddle toward home, stopping at the end of West Highland Drive by Parsons Gardens to watch the 610am ferry to Bainbridge island putter across Elliot Bay, almost wakelessly, leaving little trace, essential riders only, I want for the day when I can take a non-essential trip, the blue waters merging with the marine layer at the horizon to explore the gradients of blue, to match a mood, I sail downhill on McGraw to 1st then Florentina, I’ve just learned to go down hill fast, to lean back, change my center of gravity and fly, back across the Fremont Bridge, along the tow path with the satisfying sound of wheels on gravel, I have two of the things that most make me happy, a camera and a bike, it is easy to forget, it is Monday, I need to get home, another week, time passes strangely these days, the sun is up, the shadows stretch out, it is still early, there is plenty of time left.