Monday Morning Routine

March 27, 2017

Monday morning.  Daylight steals softly into the tent.  Neurons deep in the recesses of my brain signal a change, beginning the waking process.  As eyelids crack open, night-dim shades of gray have transmuted to vibrant hues.  Color is my cue to begin the day.

I sit up and stretch, stiff from sleep.  A smile and a whispered, “Good morning,” exchanged with Jay begins our routines.  Sleeping bag and pad, clothes, headlamp – all get loaded into my pack, then it is time to put on shoes and stagger outside.

A barred owl, heading home for the day, lets out one last call, “Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you-all?”

A cardinal greets the day with good advice, “Cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer … cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer.”

The tufted titmouse sings out my brother’s name, “Peter, peter, peter … peter, peter, peter.”

The pileated woodpecker marks his territory with loud rattling pounding upon a tree, then a raucous call of derisive laughter.

A ruffed grouse joins the chorus with deep bass thrums – wings beating the air up to 50 times per 10 second interval – thump …….. thump …… thump …. thump … thump, Thump, THump, THUmp, THUMP, THUMP!

Upon exiting the tent, my first and most urgent need is to answer a call of nature.  On the way back, I usually collect the food bags from where they have been hung out of reach of marauding mice and bears.  Today my chosen food bag tree slants over the edge of a small cliff.  I plant my feet, sling one arm around the friendly tree trunk, then lean waaay out, fingers stretched to snag the rope, bringing our food within reach.  Who needs early morning caffeine when one can access a quick adrenaline rush while doing morning chores?

The sun tosses its first beam of light over the ridge top as I coil the food bag rope.  Jay and I finish loading our packs, then head north on the trail through the early morning sunrise.  We’ll hike for 30 minutes to get warmed up, then stop for breakfast.  My Appalachian Monday morning has begun.

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Author: Sarah and Jay Bigelow

Hi! We live in the Carson Valley in Nevada near Lake Tahoe. Sarah is a retired elementary school teacher, and Jay is a retired fish biologist. We are in our 50's, and have been married for 30 years.

3 thoughts on “Monday Morning Routine”

  1. Peaceful to read your words as I awaken warm in my bed covers with Maggie and family…very , very quiet here…I say as Baby Olive stirs with her first awakening to the day sounds…

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  2. Through your words, I am easily transported to a beautiful AT morning! However, I lack your bravery – I would choose the cup of coffee over leaning out on a cliff branch any time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Beautiful photo, Sarah! What an amazing way to start a Monday. Here in Maryville it is POURING rain and expected to do so all day. I hope you are having a drier day! Keep trucking along . . . we are enjoying your posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

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