The alarm began to buzz four hours earlier than I would have liked it to. We groveled for a few minutes, made sure we had packed everything we'd need up high, then set off to the trailhead in the dark. We were above treeline by 7 a.m. and at the pass by 7:30. It was Labor Day and I was working. Working should be in quotation marks.
There are few financial certainties in freelance writing, assignments can be a hustle, you're on your own for health insurance and a retirement plan. But mornings like this one remind me why all of those factors are worth it. The work pays and it's fun to see a project come together. Still, I woke up at 4:32 a.m. first and foremost to watch the sun rise above Buffalo Mountain.