It's Always Worth It.
I can't remember the last time I had a morning that was so perfect in strange ways.
My alarm went off at 2:30 AM. My friendly reminder to start moving or I'd miss my chance of shooting the Milky Way. I thought of a million reasons of why my bed was a better idea but dragged my butt out anyways.
As I started grabbing my gear and packing my bag, I noticed that the piece to screw onto my camera to secure my tripod was broken. When you realize you have no tripod to shoot the stars and you're the only photographer on the trip - this poses to be quite the problem. I sat on the floor in tears. I wanted to cancel the morning and go back to sleep, but I put pants on instead.
We started to drive out to Badlands National Park, and when we parked the car and the lights went out, my jaw dropped. There she was, the Milky Way scraping the sky in a way I've never experienced before.
A 5 billion star hotel kinda moment.
We were the only ones out there. Usually, I like to boast about that, but it was so quiet - eerie doesn't even cut it. We heard strange noises and our mind started playing tricks on us...we seriously didn't want to get out of the car. Time didn't stop for us and the sky quickly started to fade.⠀I got out, made the best makeshift tripod I could out of blankets on the floor, and snapped a few pictures. I'm sure you could guess how those turned out (lol!).
I turned around to see the horizon turn into a light pink glow and it started to sink in where I really was. The giant rock structures came to life and I could feel my skin tingle and my eyes sparkle with excitement. This is Badlands National Park - and we had the whole playground to ourselves. As I sit here writing and reflecting on the morning, I can vividly remember the early sounds of the birds echoing through the caves.
Mother Nature put on quite the performance for us that morning. To think that I would have missed this morning because I didn't have a tripod...
I always find myself coming back to thoughts and reminders of why sunrise is so special. You don't happen to pass through it most of the time with the whole world like when you watch sunset. You work for it. You plan it out, get up at ungodly hours, push through the doubts and uncomfort and then there you are:
And you're taking a piece of life all for yourself before the rest of the world wakes up.