Several species of birds sing and chirp all around me. There are too many birds to count.
At 5 AM, the Sun begins to rise. By 5:20, daylight shows through the towering trees that surround my one-person tent. The morning is warm. The Sun has not yet appeared over the mountain ridge.
I decide to start a fire and brew coffee. I may be the first person up at the Princess Campground, Yellow Moon Loop in Sequoia National Park. The sky grows brighter and by 5:30, our campfire is lit. A man jogs by. The mad bird calling subsides and now a few birds squawk and chirp.
I start my daily walk at 6 AM today.
Entering the Indian Basin trailhead, a meadow lies to the left of me. Light green, tall grasses and hints of yellow flora are visible through tall pine trees. Ferns line the trail. Moss gross on bark. Burnt stumps from ancient redwoods lie like headstones in the meadow. It is a “natural kaleidoscope of colors and textures”, as the trail sign describes.
I reach a pile of boulders that is surrounded by the meadow. I hear grunts coming from the woods that are south of me. This is where the family of bears lives, according to the ranger.
The Sun is out and the colors of the morning landscape are striking. A thin layer of campfire smoke hovers over the meadow and creates a haze about 30 feet above the ground.
An unsettling snort comes from the area that I just left.
At 6:50, I am back at camp and everything is the way I left it. It’s time to brew that coffee and stoke the fire.