Thus a road trip to Boise, Idaho was born.
As the time to leave approached, I was aware of how this experience was a meeting of Woodstock and the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Like the movie, not everyone was going to have the ability, interest, or commitment to make the trip especially if they had to travel a great distance. The eclipse turned our gaze to the heavens—the planets, stars, and galaxies, giving us the opportunity to expand our worldview, literally and inwardly, to realize we are part of something so much larger than we might have known.
As for Woodstock, thousands of people planned to come together whether they were at work, in the middle of a forest or a city to watch the eclipse, becoming a unified community for a once in a lifetime experience.
If you weren’t able to see the eclipse I’d like to share it with you through my pictures and journey to Boise.
Late afternoon on Thursday, August 17 we pitched our tent at a national park in Flagstaff, Arizona. I understood for the first time how the Milky Way got its name as I marveled at the number of stars lighting up the night sky. It was incredible for this city girl to behold and be a part of.
In preparation for the trip I got a year’s pass to the national parks so we would save money as we visited parks along the way, camping at some of them. As we headed northwest on Friday we went to our second national park, a huge hole in the ground called the Grand Canyon. This was a brief stop since both of us had been there before and we had many miles ahead of us to drive.
Late Saturday night we made it to Boise and stayed with Karen’s cousins giving us Sunday to relax. I admit, sleeping on a bed and not the ground was nice.
Monday at 10 a.m. we walked to a hill from which to see the eclipse, making sure we brought our special sunglasses with us. We also took along folding chairs as the eclipse was over an hour and a half. You could hear the “oohs” and “aahs” as the moon moved over the sun looking like someone taking bites of the filling of an Oreo cookie! It was an incredible thing to behold and be a part of. I thought of how people thousands of years ago reacted to total solar eclipses; no wonder they were afraid the sun wouldn’t return.
We weren’t in the zone of totality but 99.5% coverage. The temperature dropped and the though it never was dark, the sunlight was an eerie yellow color almost like dusk but not quite. If we’d been at 100% coverage we were told it wouldn’t have been pitch dark but you would be able to see the stars.
When I was at the Boise airport the talk was about the eclipse and a woman shared her pictures with me.
Go for it! Explore ways to say “yes” to what you want to experience! Keep a sense of humor as things will not turn out exactly the way you thought they would. Have fun! You can have a bad time, but why?
Keep yourself open to forks in the road and the adventure you never knew was up ahead. Having the TSA pre-check for the airport is wonderful! It eliminates (most of the time) long lines, you avoid being x-rayed while keeping your belt and shoes on, and you don’t need to take out the liquids from your luggage.