How do you plan for a year-long adventure? For us, we planned out a rough route knowing it was bound to change almost daily. We had two dates in mind.
1. August 21, 2017
Destination: Path of Totality
2. September 20, 2017
Destination: Seattle so Erin can fly home for a week.
We found a free campsite by using freecampsites.net, again. It was a huge reservoir near Fort Laramie, Wyoming with dispersed camping all around it. We set up camp on Thursday knowing we would be staked out for several days, each day our anticipation growing.
We were alone at first, only a few campers here and there. The floods of people started to arrive Saturday, Sunday and even Monday. Crowds of people parking anywhere they could find a spot. We were all there for the same reason. Totality.
Even a rattlesnake showed up to watch.
Erin was jittery with nerves and excitement. MJ was his normal "cool as a cucumber" status as he finished yet another 700+ page book on the history of some really scholarly shit, AKA books by John Geriach about life and fishing.
As 9 o'clock turned to 10 o'clock and 10 o'clock turned to 11, we were all starring at the sky like a bunch of lunatics. It was eerily quiet as we all looked to the sky with high hopes.
We jumped on the roof of the van with our eclipse glasses cut in half (because we only had one pair).
At first, the sunlight became cool to our skin, like the sunlight on a winter day. After bathing in the hot sunshine of 90 degree days awaiting the eclipse, the cool sunshine was a weird feeling for us to comprehend.
Then our eyes saw a filtered light they have never seen before. It looked and felt mysterious and unnatural, like the world was surely coming to an end.
The darkness started behind us and quickly stretched its way toward us. It was like the darkness of a terrible storm was sweeping over the valley. And then lightlessness. Totality. Darkness.
The crowd was in awe and you could hear it so clearly. There was cheering, laughing crying and car horns. There were curse words and praises.
We could see the stars and the horizon looked like the sun was setting 360degrees around us. The moon was directly in front of the bright sun and even our eclipse glasses no longer worked. There wasn't enough sunlight for them to work. So, naturally, we all took a peek without the protective eyewear. Pictures don't even begin to do justice of the scale we were looking at.
Imagine peering up at a full moon on a summer's night, how grand and glorious is seems. Now imagine a full moon directly in front of the sun. It was substantially bigger than the picture we had painted in our minds and the pictures you see flooding the internet. It was exquisite and supernatural and gave us goosebumps.
And just as quickly as the darkness flooded over us, the light peered out on the other side of the moon. Totality was over. It was worth every second, all 160 of them.
Here are some videos/photos we captured ourselves:
** Sorry for the vertical video, cursing and endless laughter, this was filmed on Erin's Snapchat.
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