Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunrise Ride

We're jet-lagged so we woke up at 4am this morning. After we ate a real Finnish breakfast, my goal was to watch the sunrise at Mt. Tabor. From my ride yesterday I knew that the light starts coming up at least 20 minutes before the actual sunrise. Today the sunrise was supposed to be at 7:19 am so I started off at 6:30 with Dexter in tow. I got up the hill about half way and stopped at a great opening in the trees that looked due east towards the mountain about 20 minutes later. The colors had already started. Above the mountain there were wispy clouds that were a deep pink color turning a lighter pink as they moved skyward. At around 7am all around the mountain was a light orange color and the deep pink had moved almost 60 degrees up in the sky. The contours on the front of the mountain were starting to be visible. Dexter was getting cold so as we waited we jogged up and down the hill looking for the glowing ball to actually appear. At about 7:20 the tops of the clouds at the base of the mountain on the left side started glowing. We stopped jogging and sat down to wait for the big moment. And, we waited. I worried that the sun might be right behind the middle of the mountain when it was 7:30 and there was still no sun. Dexter started to shiver again so we jogged up the hill and back down and when we got back to the clearing, there it was! It was about 3/4 of the way up the mountain and was a bright burning yellow too bright to actually look at.

Feeling content at having seen my first Tabor sunrise I very carefully put Dexter back in his basket. He did great, delicately balancing himself on the side of the basket as I lifted the bike up and then settling down on his yoga mat seat, all harnessed in. After watching the sunrise for 50 minutes my muscles were cold. Starting the big hill in the middle of it was tough but I did it, passing a photographer at the next clearing on the way up. The last third of the ride up to the top is pretty easy and I geared down a bit to give my heart and lungs a chance to adjust.

As I circled around the top I stopped to look at the city and put on my gloves for the cold descent. I reached back to give Dexter a scritch and he was shivering non-stop. Dexter once got so cold from a bath that his legs stopped working so I was immediately alarmed. I thought about taking him out of his basket and running with him, but we still had the 20 minute ride home, so I just took off down the hill. I rode as fast as the bike and my legs could the highest gear hardly stopping the whole ride home. It is amazing what a little motivation will do. Riding that hard was harder than climbing the hill. We made it home in record time. I ran in the house and Peter got under the covers with him. In a few minutes he was all warmed up and ready to get out, so no permanent damage done.

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