First Light

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On our trip to Maine, we have learned that arguably the most popular destination for visitors in Acadia National Park is the Cadillac Mountain. It is so popular that people could flock all at once at the summit that there would be no more parking space there, so they are limiting entrance to the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road for each 30-minute time slot during the day. And the most sought after time to visit this mountain is during sunrise. Seeing the sunrise from the top of this mountain is one of the most iconic experiences to have at this national park.

To get a car entrance ticket for the sunrise is in itself like winning a lottery. The slots, which is only about 100 tickets and needs to be booked online, are released at 10 AM sharp, just 2 days before the scheduled day. I can just imagine hundreds of people are trying to get tickets which are gone in less than 2 seconds after they are released.

But we were able to snag one!

Here is the sunrise at the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

What makes the sunrise at this mountain top so epic?

Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak on the eastern seaboard of the United States. From October through the first week of March, Cadillac’s height and coastal perch make it the first place in the whole United States to see the first light of the day. For the rest of the year, Cadillac’s sunrise is not the first. That honor goes, from late March through September, to Mars Hill, a mountain near the Canadian border. That’s because in winter, the sun rises farther to the south.

So that particular morning, I can claim that I was among the first witnesses of the sunrise for that day in the US continent.

I wonder, where exactly in the world is the first light of the day seen? Is it Japan since it is known as the “Land of the Rising Sun?” Not quite. According to my search, North Island of New Zealand, more specifically the East Cape, has the honor of witnessing the world’s first sunrise each and every day. Maybe I’ll put that place on my bucket list to visit.

What first light have you witnessed? I am not just pertaining to sunrises anymore. Maybe it is truth, or knowledge, or insight. Whatever light you have witnessed and received, may you share that light to those who are in the dark or are unenlightened.

Have a great day everyone!


Here’s a time-lapse video of the first light from Cadillac Mountain:

(*photos and videos taken with an iPhone)

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