The eclipse really happened, and it was brilliant, amazing, emotional, and the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed. For a few brief hours across our land we lifted our eyes skyward with wonder and amazement. It didn’t matter what color we were or what language we spoke or the miles we traveled to get to the spot. It was just awesome.
Like so many tragic events we honor and put in non-erasable history, we should always remember where we were on the morning of Aug. 21, 2017. Instead of pain and suffering, this was a day something really great happened.
My Dune Buggy Eclipse party had a pile of great friends, some bummer MIAs and several new friends to celebrate with. My incredible mom helped fill a menu for three days and every minute of the weekend was better than expected. We drank beer, told old stories, played a lot of cornhole, burned a cord of wood, laughed a lot and made new stories with new friends.
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon blasted throughout my backyard that Monday morning as we drank coffee on the nice summer morning. The few clouds lifted and we were treated with a spectacular day. Bloody Marys, cold beer and margaritas toasted the ensuing darkness, as we all looked up in our silly glasses.
I had to venture to True Value early Monday morning for (of all stupid things) coffee filters, and noticed people all around and vehicles everywhere. By the time I escaped the store and cut towards the detour, I noticed nothing but a string of cars coming in. Locals lamented how dead the town was Saturday and Sunday (in anticipation of hordes of whatever kind of people), other than a bit more tourists around- but oh boy Monday was city traffic in Lusk. South on 85 was busy all morning, and then once it was over they all turned around and went back home. The late-afternoon WyDot pictures of I-25 at Orin Jct looked like Denver traffic every day.
When I finally took my Seattle guests for a tour, the Lusk Eclipse party was fading and traffic was back to normal for a summer night. Our town was calm, yet a buzz remained as the motels and restaurants had full lots. It had come and went just like that- the eclipse was over. Many expected to make a quick windfall, while others feared the worst possible sorts of rowdies. For the most part both failed to materialize as visitors were extremely courteous, clean and curious. Like those brief two minutes of total darkness, our visitors came and departed just as swiftly. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Despite our eclipse celebrations across America, there is still pain and suffering everywhere. While South Texas and Louisiana got battered by Hurricane Harvey, and Irma is headed towards the East coast, much of the Pacific Northwest is burning up. These are truly times of mixed emotions. While our leaders promote hatred and division, events like this illuminate how much we need each other.