Thursday, August 10, 2017


... I love the phrase. It speaks to me of more than the path of the solar eclipse, due to cross the nation on 21 August. It speaks, somehow, of total commitment or resolve in the broader, philosophical sense. And perhaps too of the human condition itself: like it or not, we are all on the path of totality in our lives, from the moment of birth until the hour of death. That's the sum of it.

But it resonates particularly at this moment, with the solar eclipse looming in less than two weeks. From the first moment I started to read about it, I was hooked. From everything I heard and read, it seemed like such an awe-some event, something absolutely not-to-be-missed if it was in any way possible to get to the path of totality. Partial would not be enough. It would be, well, partial. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to be there.

I had an idea. Knowing that Ellie's cousin David and his wife--good friends down here in Orange County--have a place somewhere up there in Idaho, and knowing that the path of totality crossed the state, I wrote to him to ask for suggestions and was rewarded with a generous invitation to stay a few nights with them.

Such excitement! I began to research ways of getting there and soon found that airlines were pretty much booked around the time of the eclipse. I could still get tickets going north... but there was nothing coming back within reasonable time. I thought about flying in to Boise, a couple of hours' drive away--which would have been possible, except that there were no longer any rental cars available. We finally decided simply to get in our own car and make the 15-hour drive, with a stop halfway at a motel in Ely, Nevada.

Amazing! I'm hoping that by arriving three or four days before the eclipse we'll miss the worst of the northbound traffic. But who knows? Seems like everyone and his mother wants to see the show. I know that I won't have the opportunity again in my lifetime, so it feels right to seize the moment. I'm sure there's something to be learned. There always is...

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