I had plenty of time to reflect on the great solar eclipse of 2017. Leaving Idaho Falls, Idaho where my father still lives, it took us four hours to go fifty miles because the traffic on the interstate and every back road and highway was so clogged with people trying to drive south. Once we hit Pocatello, we drove about fifty miles per hour on average to Salt Lake City, with a few places that was bumper to bumper for miles on end (and traffic proceeding at a crawl). My friend summed it up best when she said, "Eclipse traffic is real folks." Yup...it sure was. Was it worth it? Yes.

"Totality" was the most spectacular natural phenomenon I've ever seen. Just prior to it, as the sun was rapidly disappearing, there were waves of light racing across the ground, separated by dark bands. I learned later that these are called "shadow snakes," and they are incredibly rare. The sky to the west got dark and hazy, the temperature dropped, and the colors became intensified almost like a 4K television set. I'd never seen anything like it. Then (of course) the sun disappeared behind the moon and it looked like a black spot in the sky. I was in a twilight world where the only light came from the ring around the sun.

It was the most beautiful sky I have ever seen. When the sun's corona exploded into view behind the moon, it lay gently against a backdrop of midnight blue. The sky around it was filled with stars, and this midnight blue faded to a green and yellow and red on the horizon in every direction. There was a sunset no matter which way I turned, 360 degrees, and it was incredible. It was otherworldly, and the experience left me awestruck. I felt small, insignificant in the universe, and it was a good feeling because it took me away from any thoughts that I had and made me live in the moment. 

What an incredible experience, and I got to share it with my dad, my friend Meg Dolan, and some people that I work with who drove up for the event. Did anyone else take the time to watch it? Below is a picture that my boss took of it from up on a hill. He shared it with me, and it's better than anything I took.

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