Tuesday, August 22, 2017
From a small town in Idaho, four hours from home, DH and I watched the total solar eclipse with about 30 carloads of our newest friends--most of whom had driven up from Utah (like ourselves) to catch the full effect. It was awe-inspiring!
We left home Sunday evening, after church services and family dinner. We drove into Ririe, ID at 11:00 p.m. Joining a handful of other cars, we parked in an LDS church parking lot and tried to sleep in the back of our van--having removed the back two rows of seats before leaving home and adding 2 foam mats and bedding.
By morning the number of cars had doubled, and as the morning wore on, the numbers kept increasing.
When the eclipse began, there were families and groups all over the church lawn witnessing the bite the moon took from the sun, beginning at the upper right. We were ready!
The cute family that was next to us during the eclipse was kind enough to pose for me with their glasses on.
As the bites of the moon grew larger, strange things began happening, much of it dealing with shadows.
Shadows lost their sharp edges and became fuzzy and indistinct. Crescent shapes popped up everywhere. See those bumps between hubby's fingers. They aren't there in real life. :)
And rather than light just passing between the leaves on a tree to a surface below, creating leaf shapes, they acted like the mini pinhole viewers. They showered any surface beneath them with little crescent shaped lights.
As the crescent of the sun becomes more and more a sliver, we brace ourselves for the big moment.
The quality and intensity of the light around us is changing and seems dim, flat and dull. The air has cooled by several degrees, and there is a soft orange glow on the horizon--in every direction.
And then it happens--totality!
The sky appears to be in the last stages of dusk, the auto-on lights of nearby buildings come on, the temperature has dropped considerably (can be as much as 20 degrees, depending on your location), the stars and planets are visible, there are no shadows, and you get to rip off those glasses and look right at the sun with its blazing corona!
Cheers and whooping erupt from the crowd and then almost a reverent awe settles in as we try to embrace each fleeting moment of this possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In just over 2 minutes the spectacle of totality has passed. It is a memory that will live forever, though the experience itself seemed to slip by incredibly fast!
But the show isn't entirely over. Gradually the moon excuses itself from in front of the sun, until it is barely obscuring the lower left corner. And then it is gone.
(If you look very closely you can detect three sunspots in the center.)
You leave knowing you have been a part of something very special, and that memory makes even the 8 1/2 hours of travel time home (for what should be a four hour trip), all worth it!
Especially when nice people gather on the overpasses to witness and wave to the masses leaving their state.
Until next time (when I will reveal my latest mini quilt swap).