Five Days Out & Counting

There’s an important point that I would like to make about my first eclipse chase. I think some might think that I’ve forgotten it, or never learned it to begin with, but I want to assure you that I haven’t and I did.

This is going to be fun! This is going to be amazing! This is going to be an adventure!

And that’s true even if we run into some incredibly bad luck and despite all of the planning and odds we end up getting completely clouded out.

In addition, the fact that I’m taking along so much gear does not mean that I’m obsessed beyond everything else with getting pictures and video, leaving me after the fact having not actually seen it. That’s not going to happen.

So, to the first point, I understand that things could go wonky on us and we end up not seeing the eclipse in all of its glory. It’s conceivable (although unlikely) that we could end up in a spot where it’s raining so hard and in a thunderstorm so violent and dense that we don’t even see it get dark(er) during totality. It’s conceivable.

That will not make this trip a failure.

Yes, I’ve got a plan “A” and “B” and “C” and probably at least a plan “M” or “N.” That’s part of the adventure for me, part of the experience. But come next Monday, I’m not going to get pissed off if Plans “A,” “B,” and “C” all collapse and I end up “settling” for seeing only a few seconds of totality instead of 2:38. I’m not going to mope if I’m clouded out and end up getting to only see it get dark under the clouds.

That will not make this trip a failure.

What would make the trip a failure is not taking the trip. What would make the trip a failure would be being so afraid of failure that I didn’t bother to go.

As for all of that gear, about 90% of it is set up to have me hit a button about five minutes before totality and then sit back and enjoy the show. (Assuming I’m not sprinting through a corn field with 50 pounds of gear because our side of the corn field just got a cloud hovering over it but a quarter mile away it’s perfectly sunny. Let’s not be stupid about this, okay?) Once the show starts, yes, I’ll have a camera in my hands, and yes, I’ll check once or twice to make sure that the other stuff is still running, but a good chunk of my time will be spent just looking around, soaking it all in, making sure that on my death bed I’ll be able to remember it all and put myself right back there in that moment.

It’s going to be an adventure!

It’s going to be amazing!

It’s going to be FUN!

(Let the packing panic begin.)

Five days out and counting…


Filed under Astronomy, Travel

2 responses to “Five Days Out & Counting

  1. There is so much to look at in the few minutes leading up to and afterwards, that the 2.38 goes REALLY quickly. Watch for the strobe effect on the ground a minute or so before totality; watch for the shadow rushing towards you along the path of totality – it’s like Voldemort flying towards you. See the colours changing in the rocks behind you. Spot the diamond ring! Enjoy the sky, look for the planets, take some snaps, but above all, look up đŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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