Sunrise at Glacier Point

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There is nothing like viewing the sunrise at Glacier Point, in Yosemite National Park. It takes extra effort, getting up very early, packing our lunches and heading out in the pitch darkness. Because it makes the day extra long, we don’t do this every year… but when we do, it’s a highlight of the trip.

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We attempted a sunrise in 2008, and while beautiful, it was already lit when we got there. To view the sunrise, you have to leave the lodge well before 4am, which is why we don’t attempt this every year. Here is my journal entry from May 19th, 2009, after we left much earlier than the year before.

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Mind-numbingly stunning. We drove 16 miles in the dark – then walked in near pitch black to the tip of Glacier Point. (Walking toward a cliff in the dark is an experience all in itself!) The village below, upon leaning over the railing, was a twilight of little points of light.

Occasionally, tiny dots of light could be seen on the face of Half Dome, the only proof that there were climbers suspended on that sheer face sleeping through the night.

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Gradually, more and more becomes visible to the human eyes. Mountains begin to come into focus as far as the eyes can see, then the vast expanse below starts to open up with water falls far away – their distant roar audible long before you can see them. And once they appear, they beg you to come closer.

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Soon, I can see both Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall below it – both of which we will be hiking to today. Hard to believe as I gaze across this open expanse, that I will later be standing both at the top and bottom of these majestic falls.

When I set here looking out it is difficult to describe what I feel – perhaps I don’t even fully understand myself what this place does to me.

I am in Awe.

I feel so small – and God so amazing. Doubts evaporate and my problems suddenly seem so silly to even be a concern.

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I am baffled that anyone can come here and not believe in God – even if only at a theistic level. And yet, I too am still unable to live fully and completely devoted and obedient to what I believe. But at least when I am here I can lay it all before my Creator and worship Him pure, forgiven and clean. I wish I could always feel this close to God. But even if I must drift and fail Him, at least I can return and start again. Over and over. His mercies are new every morning – every spectacular morning. Perhaps that is why He made the sunrise so beautiful, to show us just how beautiful His forgiveness is.

WANT TO WATCH THE SUNRISE?

This video was filled in 2009. I left a camera filming for half an hour and then sped it up. Enjoy:

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