Giving Pause To Appreciate Totality

In her recent post about the solar eclipse Rene promised I would share more photos from the amazing totality we experienced, from our front row seats at a Wyoming rest stop.

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Totality Viewing
Sky darkens prior to total eclipse.

So here goes. First, I must get something off my chest. I know I’ve said it at least once before, but please: slow the fuck down people!

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Partial with Glasses
2017 Total Eclipse: Partial phase, as seen with solar glasses.

Within seconds of the totality event ending, there was a mass exodus from the Wyoming rest stop where we enjoyed a leisurely day enjoying the entire solar eclipse – from beginning to end. Within a few minutes, the ambulance waiting quietly all morning took off with sirens blaring. By the time we headed home, traffic on the remote two lane highway was creeping along, bumper to bumper. Then, about a half hour down the road, Rene and I had the privilege of witnessing the only fatality attributed to 2017 solar eclipse traffic in Wyoming.

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Traffic After
Wyoming Traffic after 2017 Total Eclipse

No, we didn’t see it happen, but we arrived on the scene – and had to drive by very slowly – as the coroner unfurled a body bag and draped the body. Some honor…it gave us a moment though, to give pause on the celestial event we experienced, and how the majority of people who traveled hours to see it, and perhaps months planning their trip, could not wait to get home – even if at the expense of life. But there I digressing again…

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Partial with Glasses
Waiting for Totality

I recall walking to school with friends in 1979, as we fiddled with our cardboard sheets to marvel at the magical crescent shapes during the last American total eclipse, because we were not withing the path of totality. I also recall from a few weeks ago being totally fine with watching this one from our deck and thinking, 97% is just fine!

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Selfie
Total Eclipse of the Dorks

Not. I’m so glad we made the 3 hour drive to experience totality – even if the drive home was 6+ hours, with more than a few drivers thinking they were invincible (and apparently very special), choosing to pass everyone in the oncoming lane. And at least one that, well, never mind.

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Totality
2017 Eclipse Totality

It lasted less than two minutes.

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Totality

So much to take in, in such little time. Stars in the sky, the glowing horizon, swallows darting about where there were none…

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Totality
Sun emerging behind moon during total eclipse.

And then it was over, for about 95% of the crowd at least. I just don’t get it, all those folks who spent nearly two hours looking up in awe as the moon covered the sun. Yet most of them didn’t care to watch as the moon completed its drive-by.

2017 Total Eclipse Wyoming Partial Sun Painting
Partial Eclipse Solar Painting

And for those who warned about using solar glasses to filter your camera lens, I say bah! No photos whatsoever will ever do justice to the corona seen live during a total eclipse.

Total Eclipse to Pass Over Texas in 2024.

See y’all in Luckenbach for the 2024 total eclipse! That one’s gonna last a lot longer, so please take your time and enjoy the ride.

4 thoughts on “Giving Pause To Appreciate Totality”

  1. Wasn’t that an amazing event. We live on the valley side of the coastal mountain range in Oregon, in the path of totality. As we enjoyed the whole event, yes beginning to end with family and friends, it has made a lasting impression, as well as the talk of meetin in Texas in 2024! I must say seeing that sun darkened, and hearing the coyotes in our woods start howling during totality, is something I will never forget!

  2. I totally agree with you Jim, as a child of the early 40’s, I seem to find the enjoyment of the moment seems to become more important to me and like to savor it a little longer. There really is NOT a good reason for the rush to get somewhere at the risk of your own safety or that of others. Now will get off my soap box and say that I really appreciate the photos and the effort spent for us all to see.


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