Seeing the First Sunrise in the US (Or Not)

The top of Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the sun rise during specific months of the year. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love absolutes when traveling. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself as I stumbled around in the pitch blackness of a pre-dawn Acadia National Park.

Some people go crazy for sunrises. I’m not typically one of them. I consider it a blessing to still be in bed when this event occurs each day. I guess you could say I’m more of a sunset person.

So why do I always find myself getting up at unimaginable hours in far-flung places, just to watch the sun come up? To me, sunrises are destination events. I love the transformation that can happen in an unfamiliar place when a burst of light and color suddenly wash over everything, starting the day. And if there’s a group watching, I love listening to that one inevitable woman (it’s always a woman) who is just thrilled to death that the sun rose that day and ready to conquer the world. She makes me endlessly happy, because all I can manage to say at that hour is, “That was very nice. I hope it warms up now. Is there coffee somewhere?”

I’d love to tell you exactly how beautiful and majestic the very first sunrise in the US is, but I can’t. On my last day in Acadia, it rained. The Cadillac Mountain sunrise went through the full range of grayscale, stopping at foggy white. Within a couple of hours, it was pouring.

Just as the sunrise can transform a place, so can the rain. Acadia’s colors and details from the previous day disappeared, and the park took on an almost spooky appearance. It was interesting to see how dramatically the scenery could change overnight.

All of these observations were lost on Seamus, who was already annoyed at having to get up early. He took one look out the window and refused to get out of the car.

How do you handle the rain on vacation?

6 comments

  1. I’m so glad that you show the good and bad. Too many blogs I read only tell a story when everything goes perfectly, and I have always wondered if things (like the weather) just didn’t ruin their plans or if they were leaving out that stuff.

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the sun rise but I think the photos are even more beautiful with the fog if that’s possible. They have a moody quality that really makes me think.

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