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The alarm rings. It is 3 A.M. on a Saturday morning. "Why do I do this to myself?" I mumble as I drag out of bed and prepare for the day ahead. Arriving at the trailhead, it is still pitch-black as I shoulder my heavy backpack and head on up in the pre-dawn chill. Stumbling up the rocky trail, lit only by my small flashlight, I question my sanity and keep an ear out for mountain lions.
I round a bend in the trail and look down the rugged creekbed to the valley below. The sun is rising and the spidery clouds above take on a golden glow. My physical discomforts fade into the background as I watch in awe the arrival of a new day. This is why I do it.