Saturday, September 2, 2017

Burning Man For Nerds: Totality and Solartown (part 2)


What can I say about viewing the totality of solar eclipse, except to use every superlative there is?  Magnificent, humbling, breathtaking, spectacular, striking, spiritual, sublime, impressive, awe-some, exquisite. All of these words fall short of describing the experience. I marvel at God's creations each and every day. This aspect of the Creation will always be tops for me.

I have been in several other partial solar eclipses, first when I was about seven or eight years old. There were no eclipse glasses back in the day, so our neighbor cut a hole in a shoebox so that we could watch the progress of the moon covering the sun. 

In February 1979 there was a total eclipse in NW Oregon where we live now, only we didn't live here then. We got close to 99% totality at our home in SW Idaho. It became quite dim outside, streetlights came on, and the air had an eeriness about it. Until this August 21st, I thought our 1979 experience was pretty amazing.

But there's an enormous difference between totality of a solar eclipse, and a 99% experience. They are actually two different things. Knowing what I know now, I would journey far to participate in totality. It's worth whatever effort or cost is involved.

To note the growing darkness, feel the evening breeze kick up, reach for jacket, gape at the sun's flaming corona, behold planets and stars in all their shimmering glory, in the middle of an August morning.

 our granddaughter with her custom made eclipse glasses, easy for a 3-year old to manipulate

 eclipse has begun!

One bonus about our experience that made me supremely happy, is that everyone in our family participated in viewing the phenomenon.  Three of our children and four of our grandchildren were with us in Madras, Oregon. One of our daughters lives in SE Idaho in the totality zone, and her family watched it with a gathering of friends and relatives.  Our daughter's family in Finland watched NASA's online broadcast that originated from the campground where we were staying, so in a sense, they were with us. I'm elated that everyone felt as strong as I did about embracing this (possibly) once-in-a-lifetime event.

Watch our eclipse experience here

[see part 1 to hear all about Solartown in Madras Oregon]

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