Monday, August 21, 2017

Shadow Over America: Eclipse


When the moment comes, everything but awe is eclipsed. It is the sight of a lifetime, majestic, irresistible: nature's reminder of our place in the vast and wondrous cosmos. The moon's shadow passes over us at over 3,600 km/h, and from our location that gives us a little over two minutes of totality. We soak up every moment as we are suddenly cast into an eerie midday twilight.
And then the shadow passes, heading southeast. We'll remember this for the rest of our lives.

To Metropolis, Illinois, where even Superman himself has donned a pair of eclipse glasses. He doesn't need them, of course, but ever the public servant, he sets an example for the throngs that came here to experience totality.
The drive from Farmington to Metropolis is sublime, with winding back roads twisting through lush, gorgeous country of dense forests teeming with life. As planned, we make our way through Kentucky and Tennessee to Nashville, our original destination for this trip, made impossible by sky-high hotel prices. We had thought that prices would come down and hotels empty after the eclipse, but alas, there are no rooms at any inns for we weary travelers. Our plans to explore Nashville are dashed, and we're forced to press on - but there are no hotels in Kentucky, either, and worse, it all the traffic we avoided heading to the eclipse is visited upon us. Endless convoys of tractor-trailers bar our progress, compounded by construction that reduces the highway to single lanes. By the time we finally find lodging we're in Indiana, and the hotel, though cheap, is a disaster. We collapse on bloodstained sheets, Sylvia laying out a protective towel and sleeping in her clothes. We refuse to shower in the morning, though we desperately need it after so many hours of driving, for bathing here would only make us filthier. It is the nadir of our trip.

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