This morning I found myself wondering an uncommon question.
“Just when is the sun coming up?”
I left the house at 5:30 with the aim to arrive in Wisconsin around 8. The “wintry mix” that had fallen all night proved to be more ice than mix, and traffic was slow. I figured I’d be safe because I’d only be in the dark for the first hour of my ride as surely BMNT (beginning of morning nautical twilight) would happen around 0630.
“My calculations must be off,” I finally conceded.
It hit me that BMCT is what matters when driving (civil twilight—sun at 6 degrees below horizon, not the 12 of nautical twilight).
No problem. But even at 7am, there was still no sign of our nearest star, and quite a bit more roadway to go than I could squeeze into one hour.
Then it happened as it always does—suddenly.
Suddenly, dawn made her appearance.
A few minutes later, the true miracles occurred.
Miracle Number 1: I saw a headless bird eating road kill.
“Wait-a-minute!! That’s no headless bird, that’s a BALD EAGLE! And it’s so close!”
Zoom. I passed within feet of him.
“And to think I saw him in Wisconsin USA,” I further thought to myself.
I mean, seeing a bald eagle is one thing, but seeing one in the great state of Wisconsin, USA elevates the experience well into the clouds, if not all the way to the heavens.
Next, it happened again.
Miracle Number 2: I looked and saw a bald eagle on the tippy top of a leafless tree. His chest was as broad as the Rocky Mountains.
Unlike last sighting from a few posts back, we’ll call that one The Sentinel, this treetop eagle had the pleasure of directing traffic.
Upon entering Wisconsin, I observed that the wintry mix had stopped at the state line and now there were only enormous snow flakes. Enormous snow flakes in need of some direction. And I was staring at the divinely appointed tower controller as he was directing traffic.
“Cleared for landing, Uniform Sierra Foxtrot.”
“Yes, sir. Come on down.”
“Wonderful flare, way to go!”
“Last calling, you’re number two for that branch on your right, keep your speed up, I’ve got two more behind ya.”
“Sierra Foxtrot Heavy, I’ve got a spot for you on the virgin mantle two hundred yards from centerline.”
And on and on he went. It was like listening to the soothing crackle of George Washington’s torch as it illuminated the unimaginable freedom just on the other side of the darkness.