With sorrow and a bit of embarrassment I officially announce the death of my Dream: to watch the up-coming total solar eclipse in person.
In fairness, fantasies have their value, even if never fulfilled. So at least there’s that..
My ‘plan’ was to fly to the Untied Snakes (Philadelphia), gas and oil my ’91 Subaru stored out in the barn for 23 years, (last run 5 years ago), buy a few road maps, and drive south to, oh, Kentucky. Find some deserted spot to park, watch my watch and the Sun, and quietly enjoy the spectacle.
Several cold hard facts, compounded by credible rumours, (please do read the excellent Wash Post article linked below; she might have written it for me specifically) have awakened my inner Rip Van Winkle’s reverie.
Transatlantic airline flight-price high-season; 6000 shekels, individually extracted from anal-retentive Israelis, would be required, merely in order to find myself trapped like an automotive rat on the freeways and byways (impromptu parking lots?) toward my destination. With a better than 50% chance of staring at the underside of a cloud bank during the big event, cursing my fate.
I still recall considering turning around on the grid-locked 2-lane road to the Woodstock festival. Half a million ‘Sears- ‘poof, yer a hippie’ impostors flashing peace signs. This new-version ‘event-of-a-lifetime’ promises a 50X volume of traffic, and without even Jimi Hendrix. I am, of course in favour of public awareness of celestial events, and applaud anyone deciding to weather the anguish to see ’em.
More prosaic concerns include” Who’ll feed my cats, water my crops? And I’d need to buy a new pair of shoes, buy dollars for incidental expenses, sit inside airplanes for 14 hours without a smoke break or a beer, and worry myself silly about whether I’d left the gas on.
On the other hand…um… ‘I have different fingers’. No, seriously, what to tell the grand-kids?
“Yeah, I missed it. Couldn’t get it together. Life wuz tough back in those days. Go look it up on YouTube.”
So there. Carly Simon’s embarrassed to even know me. Not ‘vain’ enough to be worth a song. Back when I was a success-story, I’d have walked, uphill both ways, a hundred miles… for a partial Lunar eclipse!
Only consolation, other than the unspent 6K shekels, is that ‘Angela’ will understand. I’ll always love her for the critical heads-up in her article. I count of the kindness of strangers lately to save me from my fantasies. Read it yourself: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/07/25/no-firm-travel-plans-for-the-solar-eclipse-heres-what-to-expect-if-you-wing-it/?utm_term=.ac0fe9fa2d95.
Oh, and NASA’s live TV link is here: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive