Things I'm Loving FriYay! #3: Eclipse Special




Happy Friday everyone!

We have made it through another week in my household and I have to admit it was actually really fantastic!  If you have been following me on social media you know that I was fortunate enough to witness the total solar eclipse that happened this Monday.  As much as I would like to type a long winded paragraph detailing exactly why this was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in my life, the experience was just so surreal it is hard to form any words that will do it justice.

The same goes for pictures.  Now I will forever be an iPhone supporter and believe that many of my best photographs are captured straight from my smart phone, but when it came to this event it wasn't even worth picking up the camera.  But to be fair, I have seen all of NASA's photos of the eclipse and even they do not fully capture the splendor of what I saw in the sky that day.

With that in mind, today's Things I'm Loving FriYay is going to be focusing on just one thing:

  • Total Solar Eclipse
Photo courtesy of NASA

Alright, so this isn't really something you can go out and catch like you would a movie at the cinema.  Perhaps that is what makes it so special.  But I am putting it out there so you can mark your calendar because in seven years this baby is coming back around to the United States and you will not want to miss it.

I admit I was one of those people who was excited to see the solar eclipse but didn't really understand the hype and desire for people from all corners of the world to travel to my little town and witness something that would last for a whopping two minutes.  After all, I had seen lunar eclipses before and they were neat, but not anything I would go out of my way for.  Heck, most of the time I don't stay up late enough to even catch them.

You guys, I was so wrong!  It was the most angelic white-blue light shimmering in the darkened sky that had seconds earlier been filled with bright daylight.  By now you have no doubt seen dozens, if not hundreds, of photos from this event.  None of them even come close, you simply have to experience it for yourself.

For two minutes I had a glimpse of Heaven and it was absolutely awe inspiring.

***

Bed and Breakfast Experience


View of our property about an hour before the eclipse

I only had to drive two hours north to my home town of Casper, WY where I spent the entire long weekend with my family.  Not only does my mom live in town near all the action of Eclipse Fest, but my father has a gorgeous five-acre property outside of the city that we just so happened to list on Airbnb for the weekend.  Playing bed and breakfast hostess definitely makes the list of Things I am Loving as well.  I think a career in hospitality would suit me very well.

We were fortunate enough to have three of the sweetest families from Colorado come stay with us and experience the event of a lifetime in what I like to think of as the most beautiful place in the world.  It was my first time ever listing a property on Airbnb so I was a little nervous to try it out.  Thankfully I did because it meant we got to share this experience with some really amazing folks.

Also, the weather was absolutely fantastic.  As you can see from the picture above there is not a single cloud in the sky.  Though it was about 85˚ at the start of the eclipse, by the time we reached totality it had dropped to somewhere around 70˚.  It was absolutely heavenly.

However, even more unique than the temperature drop was the way the atmosphere changed.  Animals quieted, grasshoppers started chirping, and the craziest glow of light filled the atmosphere right before we went dark.  It was not quite like dusk, but similar to the way the light breaks through the clouds after a rainstorm, only there were no clouds.  Though it is not quite as obvious in the two pictures below, I did try to capture this amazing lighting.

Amazing lighting minutes before totality.

***

Casper, WY Eclipse Fest 2017

I feel so fortunate to call Casper my hometown.  Growing up there I never would have imagined they could pull off such a spectacular event, but lo and behold they did.  Not only did they showcase their brand new downtown event venue, David Street Station, but for the entire weekend all of the streets were blocked off for the festival.  I am talking blocks on blocks of vendors, street performers, food trucks, and tourists all packed in for the fun event.

Concert at David Street Station
Live music was featured every night and many of the museums around town hosted free events for everyone to attend.  This was by far the most family friendly crowd I had ever been a part of.  And though the population of Casper increased significantly, you would never know it, because everyone was simply so calm and united together in the excitement of the event.

Eclipse Fest Goodie Bag
Oh, and remember those people I said I didn't understand for coming from all over the world to see this event?  Yeah, they are pretty awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that the city had them pin point on a huge map of the world where they had traveled from.  We had folks from Bora Bora, Saudi Arabi, Austrailia, and even some tiny islands in the south Pacific (including Hawaii).  People from different nationalities, races, religions, and backgrounds all came together for the simple love of a natural phenomenon.  How cool is that?

Giant map, people in front


All in all, I can say with full confidence that this solar eclipse was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Though I am so happy to have had my son with me to enjoy it, I am a little saddened that it will be lost to the oblivion that is infantile amnesia (it's a real thing, look it up).  So I guess we will be making the trip down south in 2024 to witness the next one.  Not that I am sad about that at all.

There are insufficient superlatives in the English language — or any language, for that matter — to adequately describe the experience of a total solar eclipse.--Bill Kramer


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