2017 Eclipse

The total eclipse was awesome. These words I write can’t really explain how cool it was but I will write them anyway so I can come back and read this years down the road for a small glimpse into how it felt.

It started with a tiny blot on the sun. I wasn’t even sure I was seeing anything but five minutes later and it was clear the moon was moving in front of the sun. Just looking at the sun itself is great – this giant ball of fire and heat that allows us to live. I rarely think about how powerful and life giving our star is and it’s a powerful thought to dwell on. I watched the moon cross the sun, bit by bit. The world started to look really weird – the light was different, it was still sunny but it wasn’t strong. Colors started to look weaker. Shadows were different, my fingers looked huge, square, and curved over my leg . The wind appeared and even though light was pouring from the sun, I was cold, goosebumps covered my skin. And then, the sky in the west quickly got dark blue and all of a sudden the sun disappeared and a sunset surrounded me in 360 degrees. The sun’s corona spread from around the moon and it was breathtaking. I was confused and awed and thrilled. I cried in the utter beauty and strangeness of it. I laughed in the joy of it.  I felt truly connected to the Earth and to the universe in those two and a half minutes. It was really weird and really awesome. And then the sun began to shine its wonderful light again and I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for it to end. But the moon kept going and the total eclipse ended. I was filled with this energy, this feeling of happiness and I ran around the field we were in and I yelled and I danced. I imagine this is the most primal I have ever felt. I felt like a human, like a creature on a planet in a solar system in an almost endless universe. Space is frightening and exhilarating. I will be seeing another total eclipse.


Gene, Elisabeth, and I drove up to Casper, Wyoming on Saturday morning specifically for the eclipse. We camped at a corn maze 30 minutes of outside of town, surrounded by farmland. On Saturday we went on a small hike where we met Deb from Denver News 7. She took our picture by a little waterfall and tweeted it out! We discovered while in WY that the hiking trails aren’t well marked, so thank you Colorado for being decent at it!. Saturday evening we went to a diner for dinner and then went back to our campsite to read and relax.

Sunday morning we went on another hike, this time near the place my manager, Dori, had a lake house. After the hike we met her at her lake house and she took us out on her boat for a couple of hours. It was so beautiful, I had no idea parts of Wyoming were this gorgeous. We boated in a canyon and I felt like I was in the Grand Canyon and a Lord of the Rings movie. I didn’t bother taking pictures because I knew they wouldn’t do justice. It was so thoughtful and kind of Dori to invite us over and take us out – made my day.

After saying goodbye to Dori, we drove around the lake and a reservoir, had a picnic lunch, and grabbed ice cream before heading back to the camp. We ate some dinner, played some games, and read more before bed.

Monday morning we packed everything up and drove around the countryside before finding the perfect spot to view the eclipse (we didn’t want to be by anyone if we could help it). We settled under a couple of trees on the edge of a farm and watched the eclipse. It was great fun.

We headed towards Denver soon after the total eclipse ended and then spent the next 10 ½ hours driving home. We all did really well and there were no issues. But we did learn our lesson – the next time we see an eclipse we will wait two days before heading back home.

No regrets on this trip – it was worth it – and now I plan on going to South America in 2019 to see the next one!

 

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