Saturday, August 19, 2017

headed to Glendo

"On the fury road."

I woke with a sore throat. Smeg!

I heard noises. Ugh. People were already packing up. I didn't wanna hold up the parade so I quickly climbed out of the tent. I noted the truck was open and the back seat was emptied. I found the Star Adventurer still on tripod in cargo bed. I wondered if it was to be disassembled. Sue and Ian were done breakfast; Lora and Phil were done everything. While I was not last, I still felt I needed to get a move on. I wanted some coffee but I did a consolidation-pack first.

It looked like it was going to be a nice day. It was already warm.

Wolfed down breakfast.

9:18 AM MDT. We pulled out of Cedar Bay. Ian taught me how to dump the grey and black water.

We started moving west again. Via the dam.

Sue was on-board now; I was in the back seat of the rig.

If one wasn't on Mountain time already, it was good to change.

I proposed that the landscape around us is what Mars would look like when we terraformed the fourth planet. Flat. Desolate. Dusty. Hot. Devoid of humans.

The terrain got flatter. I saw corn, sunflowers, and hay.

11:16 AM. We reached the town of Gordon. We filled the rig with guzzoline.

a yummy snack bar to tide me over

I felt like a snack..

There were a few clouds. The temperature varied between 28 and 30°C.

I made a note of the groceries I needed.

When we tumbled through Hay Springs, I thought of Hay River from Corner Gas.

The cars ahead of us reached Chadron. They suggested we lunch in town. EJ BBQ on Main St (north). OK. My sandwich was good. The Nebraska Nut Brown was refreshing. The staff were excited about the impending celestial event.

1:15. We got back on the road. We pressed to Lusk.

buttes in the distance

Butte mountains appeared. I thought of Devil's Mountain.

2:10. I watched the sharp shadows under the fluffy clouds.

We saw long trains filled with coal. It made us a little sad. We learned later that most was going to China. I counted 135 cars of coal.

2:36. We reached Lusk, elevation 5105 feet. We filled up and then hopped to the grocery store.

We noticed the staff at the grocery store had nice eclipse shirts. Sadly they were sold out. I ran down to Fresh Start. They didn't have any either.

Before leaving town, he hit the local spirits store. I picked up some Corona for the big day.

3:10. Ian was raring to go. We continue.

3:21. Ian noted, "We're over a mile high now." The temp was 31°C, down from 34.

We spotted the mountains ahead.


I made some notes of things to do in Glendo like charging up batteries.

3:43. "Looks like the traffic is moving up ahead," Ian said. We got on Interstate 25.

3:59. The Garmin said it was less than 10 km. I was excited. I was looking forward to settling in for a bit. Getting ready for the big event.

We entered Glendo. Some of the old buildings made it easy to image horses tied up out front, people sauntering the wood plank walks, the old stage coach bumbling down the main street. Population 200.

It was hot and dry. There was sage grass and cactus all about. "My world is fire." It was very hot in the direct sunlight.

It was interesting to note that the parks, farmers fields, the airstrip were already getting busy. It seemed to me that they didn't have very many port-a-potties given the estimated number of humans...

As we made our way to Eric's house, Ian increasingly felt we were committing ourselves. There were only two ways in and out of the neighbourhood. If the weather turned, we'd have to fight our way through the horde in the state park. But the weather prospects, at this stage, suggested we'd not need to worry.

We arrived our guest's place. Eric was very welcoming. Happy to meet us. His log cabin style home was very nice. He offered us the run of the place. We backed the trailer into the double driveway. Eric offered the full use of the big garage. There was an upper level with large living room, kitchen area, and bathroom. There were decks on the north and south sides. This was well-received by our crew and it was quickly christened it "Canada House."

cacti, sage, coniferous, and dry, dry earth

I set up my tent in the backyard between the dry, dry coniferous trees. I was looking forward to my own space, quiet, in the fresh air. I set up minimising my footprint in trailer.

I set up a charging station and reloaded all my batteries.

We hauled out the lawn chairs and enjoyed a pleasant siesta.

Later I helped set up 20" Dob.

A friend of Eric's arrived some time later. Marty had purchased some special binoculars by Lunt with integrated solar filters. We viewed Sun at 8x. We could see the sunspot group from yesterday.

Made dinner: chicken and rice. Joined the RASCals in the garage man cave.

The air cooled off. It became very pleasant.

While I was grilling it occurred to me that I was on the verge of repeating last night's astronomy session. I thought I shouldn't put myself into the same situation so I considered some different approaches and goals. I considered using a long lens with the tracking mount.

A mozzie found me while cooking. I wondered how my anti-bug juice supplies were holding up.

I found the fourth battery for the Star Adventurer in my stuff. I took it to the front yard and put it in the SA box. I was curious my plans. I said I needed a nap. He offered to wake me but I planned to set an alarm.

I had a quick look at Saturn in the 20". Saw 4 or 5 moons through poor seeing.

9:28. I rested in my tent. It was evident we were back in civilisation now. Compared to the supremely quiet and dark Nebraska state park. I could hear highway traffic, shunting trains, the noisy neighbours, and barking dogs. Some of the neighbours were bad light polluters. In fact, there was white light everywhere.

I thought of Chris and Ian flying the big 'scope. I remembered nights at the CAO when Ian and I worked together. But at the same time, I suspected the front lawn of Eric's was going to turn into a star party tonight and I just didn't have the energy to play.

I didn't see or hear mozzies for most of the evening. Nice.

At last, we were at our solar occultation viewing site.

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