Tuesday, 22nd August 2017; 10:07 am

I got back to camp from the Zone of Totality without much trouble. I took more major roads, and thus encountered more traffic. There were a few spots you might call a traffic jam, but they kept moving and didn’t last long. Once I got to the smaller roads there were still lines of cars all going in the same direction. 

At one point I crossed an overpass for the Western Kentucky Pikeway or something, and there was a real traffic jam on that going east. It makes sense that the worst jams would be after the eclipse, because most people are going leave as soon as it’s over, compared to people arriving on-time/early/super-early/days-before/etc. 

I got to the state park with a bit of daylight left, which I used to explore it by bicycle. There’s Lincoln Lake which has a beach and rowboat rentals. There’s also an amphitheater, which expected to be wooden benches for 50 people, but turned out to be a real concert venue… assuming that “real” includes Jimmy Buffett, Guns n Roses, Led Zeppelin, Billy Joel, and Beatles… tribute bands. And the real Grand Funk Railroad and Mitch Ryder. 

Looking back on the eclipse, I do have a few regrets. The most obvious is that I screwed up and forgot to take the solar filter off my “video” camera. I’d set my old camera on a tripod in video mode and started recording shortly before totality. I wanted to get both the cover-up and the corona, but with the filter still on, the camera was blind until the sun came back out. 

I also wish I’d brought a proper DSLR. The autofocus on my good camera flaked out, especially just before/after and during totality. The camera has manual override, but it’s difficult to use. Fighting with this detracted from the time I could spend just looking. But I did get a few good shots. Which don’t do it justice of course. 

Fortunately the time I spent looking at it was very memorable. Wow. The sky around the sun/moon was bluer than I expected. The corona was more delicate. 

Just before/after totality the sun took on a different character. Without looking at it I could tell it was like a point light source instead of a small disk. I can’t imagine how it seemed to ancients who didn’t understand what was happening. 

The third camera (my iPhone) performed as expected for the panorama of twilight all around during totality. I didn’t notice any change in the animal noises around me… there were insects buzzing in the area, but I was preoccupied I guess. 

I’m definitely going to catch the next one in the US in 2024. The closest it’ll pass is Toledo. 

Comments are closed.