Dad is up early as always, but his movements get me up to check out the sunrise situation in Bryce. I slip out, letting mom – still in bed – know I have my key and a flashlight, and head out. There’s thunder and lightning (we should stay indoors) but no rain so I hope for the best.
(I needed a jacket against the morning chill, but that was locked in the car. Oh well, a little cold probably won’t kill me, anyway.)
I sit on the rim edge, watching the hoodoos take shape. The clouds on the horizon lighten as the sun beyond ekes closer to the horizon.
I keep changing places, looking for the best vantage point from this area – not willing to drive out to Bryce Point and noting the crowd already gathering up at Sunrise Point. Focused as I am on the sky, I belatedly – thankfully not too belatedly – realize that I need to pay closer attention to the uneven line of the rim as I move around, too.
Eventually I glance back, recognizing my dad by his walk before I can see him in the dim light.
We wait there for a sunrise that doesn’t come, the clouds never leaving an opening as the sun rises behind them.
Dad and I head back, stopping to pick up coffees, and find the cabin empty, the car parked, the car keys gone. Apparently mom had also gone for the sunrise, absent a key to the cabin she’d taken the car keys to have shelter until we returned, and then passed us on her path. A worrisome time later – she with no phone, even if there had been signal – we were all accounted for, packed up, and making our long journey to the Grand Canyon.