High pitched bells screeched through the crisp morning air. 

City Lights in the Valley

I rolled over and smudged my fingers across the screen of my iPhone until the alarm went to snooze. I seem to regret setting these productive alerts for myself each morning when they awake me from my comfy slumber. However, today was different. I woke up in a teepee in the middle of Park City, Utah. Don’t ask. 

Home for the Night

After realizing my surroundings, I opened my iPhone back up and turned off the nine alarms I had set—again, don’t ask. Being a caffeine addict, I knew I had about two minutes to turn on the kettle and get my coffee brewing before the persuasive bed began to call my name again. Coffee in hand, I unzipped the teepee and trudged over to get a fire going. It was a mere 30 degrees this morning and it’s safe to say I was not dressed for the weather.

Fireside

As the pile of timber began to turn auburn with flickering flames, I slumped back in my lawn chair and began to take in all that was Park City. Waking up before the crowds seemed to give the city a sense of peace it didn’t necessarily have the night before when we arrived. The once far-off black mounds began to set the scene as the sunrise flit hues of orange, purple and pink across the never-ending peaks. Out of the blue, a vicious snarl pierced through the air, echoing off the mountains and snapping me out of my groggy morning haze. Hesitantly, I turned my head to face the source of the snarl. A huge sigh of relief swept over me as I realized the neighbor’s dog had wandered over to my fire pit. I guess I wasn’t the only early riser. 

“Awwww, it’s okay buddy. Come here,” I beckoned him.  

Trudging away, he clearly had no interest in coming here. Trailing his pursuits, I now spotted two more dogs sniffing their way about the yard. Though I assumed they had just woken up with me, the dogs already seemed to be set out on a mission, and I wondered if I might find out just what mission that was. Suddenly, one large black dog went into a full-on barking fit. Following his gaze, I watched as an elk stood tall and proud atop the hill, trimming the yard in search of his breakfast. Continuing his endeavors, the dog was now at the hilltop as well, yipping and snapping at the heels of the elk, which seemed to be struck into one of those deer-in-the-headlight moments. 

Mountains Sunrise

As I examined the face-off, I began to question my original beliefs. If these were truly the neighbor’s dogs, don’t you think the neighbor would have called them back by now, especially after they began to disturb the wildlife and wake the rest of the neighborhood with their shrieks? As the rest of the dogs joined in and continued their chase of this elk down the rolling hill and into the wooded forest, realization set in. I don’t think that was the neighbor’s dog… I think that was a pack of wolves. I was sitting around a fire with A PACK OF WOLVES. Now, tuned in to every little sound around me, my thoughts were disrupted as my friend rolled out of the teepee. 

The View

“You didn’t wake me up for the sunrise? I told you to wake me up!” she remarked, and as I glanced up, I swear I could see fume steaming from her ears. Alissa was in no way classified as a morning person. 

The Chase

“Don’t worry, we’re on the same page…I didn’t catch much of it either,” I hesitantly replied, staring off into the pines as the silhouettes of the chase frolicked through my mind.  

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