Beautiful Insomnia

I’m a notoriously light sleeper, but occasionally my sleeping habits border on insomnia. I’m not a clinically-diagnosed insomniac, but sometimes I’m just too excited for sleep. I’ll even have episodes when I’m filled with worry and anxiety that keep me awake. Regardless of the cause, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be a real challenge to shut down my brain and get to sleep. Last night was one of those nights!

I easily laid in the dark for two hours before finally dozing off around 1:00 am. And it started again when I woke up at 5:45 am. I confess that I had checked the weather before going to bed and saw some data indicating the conditions might be nice for a sunrise at the Foothills Parkway. That was a mistake. I checked the weather app on my phone at 5:48 am to see what the current conditions were on the Parkway. It was overcast at 5:48. Overcast means no sunrise, so I could have easily bailed at that point. But I didn’t. Partially motivated by a full bladder, I crawled out of bed. I knew at that point I was going to Foothills Parkway.

Unfortunately, my gear was not well organized. I had not been out shooting since returning from Death Valley before Christmas. Could I get out the door without forgetting anything important? Cameras, lenses, batteries? Check. Tripod? Check. Jacket, hat, boots. Check. Breakfast? For sure. Coffee? Seriously, you don’t have to ask about that. In 25 minutes I was off, sipping on a warm, freshly-brewed cappuccino wondering what I may have forgotten.

I’d only been to the new section of the Foothills Parkway once, so I headed to my favorite overlooks on the old section of the Parkway. As I finished the cappuccino, I was about halfway to the first overlook and the sky was still too dark to tell if there would be any light. Then, a little before 7:00, the sky began to lighten and faint warm rays of light illuminated the broken clouds to the east. This could be really good, I thought to myself and picked up the pace a bit. I was almost there, but now I was fully awake and fully caffeinated.

As I pulled onto the Parkway, the light began to blossom. Fortunately, the insomnia and a full bladder paid dividends on this morning and I was rewarded with nicely lit clouds plus fog in the valley. It was beautiful. Later, I found some very cool fog along the new section of the Parkway. It was icing on the cake of insomnia. Beautiful insomnia.

Here are two images from this morning. Enjoy! I’m off to bed! zzzzz

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