I think I may be addicted to sunrises. It's maybe about 80% planning and 20% luck as far as a successful sunrise trip. But sometimes it's 20% planning and 80% luck. Either way, it always feels rewarding to wake up before dawn, driving/hiking out to the desired destination, setting up the camera(s), wait for the sun to rise, compose and take the shots, and then just soak it all in. The air is crisp and feels clean; the rising sun feels warm against the cold face. And the feeling of excitement on the drive home to go through the batch of photos with a nice hot cup of coffee before most people have even rolled out of bed provides a sense of accomplishment.
This time, I had originally planned to drive out to Sherrard Point to photograph the cascade mountain range in the Columbia River Gorge. However, the road was still closed from the long winter and I was ill-equiped for the 4-mile hike in from the gate. I was disappointed, but I knew there were plenty of other places that would be great for sunrises. I settled on Jonsrud Viewpoint out in Sandy, OR. It was a closer drive out and far less treacherous. I wanted to get there about an hour before sunrise to catch some of the twilight before the sunrise. Sunrise was at 5:30 and the drive would take about an hour so I had to wake up and be out the door by 3:30. I didn't actually wake up until right around 3:30, but I did manage to make it out the door by 3:45 and got the Jonsrud Viewpoint around 4:40. I enjoyed the spot alone for about 15-20 minutes before other photographers slowly trickled in.