Sunday, August 20, 2017
Notes From the Eclipse Trail (with apologies to Ken Burns)
It is August 20, 2017. I pray that our missive arrives intact from the hinterlands of the Oregon Territory. Our journey has been long and arduous, and the outcome remains a great uncertainty. As you no doubt recall, we left the familiar fields and cities of our Central Valley home a week ago, but the time might as well have been a year. We are tattered and dirty, but we remain resolute in our goal of witnessing a total Solar eclipse.
Our progress slowed as we entered the great forests of what the local inhabitants call the "Redwood Trees". The trees were immense, and the forest dark. It was hard at most times to even know the location of the Sun in the sky above. We pressed on, looking for some kind of shelter or inn that would take us in for a night. We found accommodation at an outpost called Albee Creek, in the deep forest of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We found ourselves surrounded by wagons once known to us as VW Microbuses. It was an uncomfortable and worrisome night in the dark forests, as we listened to the sounds of men, beasts, and air-cooled four stroke engines.
But through our trials and troubles, the goal remains true and we hope attainable. It is known that no American can hope to see such a spectacle on American soil again before 2024, no matter their bravery and skill. We can only hope to press on with fortitude and stubbornness born of being earth scientists and astronomers.
Yeah, we'll let you know if we make it...