Tuesday, April 9, 2024

I went to an eclipse and stared at dogs

At totality. If you click on the picture
you'll see a few stars. It was dark but not
pitch black.  

Picture by a friend of totality
Click on Photos to Enlarge

On eclipse day, I still didn't know what I was going to do. Part of me thought about climbing Black Mountain and watching a partial eclipse. The other part heard Tyler Kent's voice: "I'll pay you to go into the zone of totality, it's that good." As a result, I buckled up and I headed west to Colebrook, NH in The Rig and pulled into a state rest area with all the amenities, including wifi and indoor toilets and ports-potties. I chatted with two astronomers from Colorado who had initially planned to watch in Texas. Once the weather issues surfaced in Red Star State (yes, that's political) it became clear they needed tp take  a hard left and head north to New England. 

I chatted and thanked the volunteers who worked the main gate and helped people park. I worked on my submission materials for Islandport Publishers, ate a Dagwood from Community Variety, drank coffee, sipped on Diet Pepsi, wished I had chocolate or a sweet granola bar, took a picture of four college guys drinking Corona and sent it to Tyler (I see the corona!) and...

I stared at people's dogs and smiled a lot. The truck next to me had a two-year old black and gray pointer who needed leash lessons... and who, out of no where, would start barking. His owners were great--they'd take him for a quick walk.  Three doors down a family had a little white Benji-type dog who pranced along with her owner and jumped into the person's lap each time she sat down in her lawn chair. One family had two Boarder Collies... one remained on a leash, the other darted around with a Frisbee in his mouth under great verbal control. And I thought about Bailey...   

Throughout the day I texted back and forth with family members and sent them pictures until the wifi got overloaded. My nephew Tyler loves eclipses and other natural phenomena. I spoke with Rob who was driving back from Palm Springs and a golf tournament with his new friend Patty. As a pair they came in tied for second at a fancy golf course near Palm Springs. Fred sent a picture from Daytona Beach, Allen talked about his PT class, and Tyler was jazzed.       

Here are some of my shots of the day and a couple that I snagged from friends. 

Grafton State Park a few miles from home. 

Borrowed from a friend. You can see sun flares
if you enlarge the photo. 

I arrived at the rest area about 10am, so did some work
while waiting for the eclipse. 

RVs and Trucks were ushered into one line. 
The Rig is second from the front. 

One of the astronomers from Colorado
taking a nap after one long drive. 

Early in the day looking across the rest area. 

State astronomers had displays up. 

Thoughtful volunteers in green. 

More of the display

More of the display 

College kids drinking Coronas... quite apropos.
"Tyler, I see the corona!"  

My picture early on in the eclipse. 

My picture later on in the eclipse. 

At totality. Enlarge to see stars. 

Old guy star gazing. 

I forget where I scoffed up this photo. 


More traffic. It took me 3+ hours to drive
the 72 miles home. Worth it! 

Another friend posted this drone picture of the
Height of Land. I'd have loved going here but was
frightened off by crowds and parking in The Rig.  

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