Monday, May 21, 2012


52 gallons of fuel - $216.00
1- steak and egg burrito combo - $5.29
2 - 24 ounce cups of coffee - $2.58
18 hours of my life and 825 miles of travel - N/C

Crossing "Seeing a total annular eclipse of the sun" off of my bucket list - Priceless

I had never seen a total solar eclipse of the sun before. I had seen a few partial eclipses, but never the whole thing. On a whim, I decided to make the trip from So Cal up into Utah and check it out.

I drove a little over 400 miles into Hurricane Utah (pronounced hurricun BTW) non-stop and had lunch with some cousins. After a good visit, I headed another 20 miles north and found an off-ramp. There were a few other travelers there, waiting for the eclipse. Both were from the Las Vegas NV area and had driven up for the show.

They didn't think I was crazy for driving up, but they did think it nutty that I was going to drive home that same night.

I have to be honest, I really screwed this up. I just don't get a lot of practice shooting the sun. I had about an hour to play around with the partial eclipse and exactly four minutes and twenty seconds to shoot the total eclipse. Frankly, I was not properly equipped and definitely not properly prepared. 

I forgot a really basic rule regarding f-stop and didn't realize it until an hour or so ago. A small aperture will give you a sunburst effect, something I didn't want.

Despite my lack of preparedness and my errors, these images will always remind me of the time I saw a total solar eclipse. For that, I am ecstatic.

These young ladies were from Henderson NV, and had driven up I-15 with their dad. They took advantage of the sun shortly after totality had passed and used the odd light to make shadows. I thought it creative and cool.

Shortly after the above photo was snapped, I jumped in the truck and headed south. I stopped once in Mesquite, NV for a snack and again in Yermo for a burrito, coffee and fuel. I rolled up at the crib at 0100 after being gone exactly 18 hours.

It was definitely worth the effort.

As a side note, a tip o' the helmet to my brothers and sisters of the San Bernardino County Fire Dept, Sta #53. I saw three wrecks yesterday, all on I-15 between Baker and the Nevada State line. Two were rollovers that had left the highway and the third looked like an SUV had rear-ended a slow or stopped semi at a high rate of speed. All were in the clean-up stages as I went by, the rear-ender looked like SERIOUS injuries may have been involved.

SBCFD Sta. #53 covers the I-15 from Afton Rd to the Nevada state line. I'm guessin' they spend a lot of time on the highway because I have to say - PEOPLE DRIVE THAT ROAD LIKE FRIGGEN' IDIOTS.
Every time I drive that stretch of road, I feel lucky to survive it. It's like a restrictor plate race, only with amateurs.

Again, it was a great day - I saw something I have never seen before and will likely never see again.

Thanks for reading,

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