Just after noon Craig came down to the studio where I was working and asked if I wanted to go up to Redding (250+ miles) with him to see the eclipse.
I wasn't overwhelmingly enthusiastic given some of the less than spectacular astronomical experiences we have had in the last few years, but I've been trying to be more spontaneous.
So we hopped into the new Accent and drove 4 1/2 hours. It was a pleasant and pretty drive. Traffic was light and the weather was beautiful.
We arrived at a parking lot along the shore of Whiskeytown Lake near Redding at about 4:30 PM. All the parking areas were quite full and many cars were just parked along the roads. There were several people with large telescopes and video screens that were willing to let anyone take a look. We were loaned two pair of viewing glasses by a very nice man. We tried doing the pin-hole camera thing, but compared to seeing it thru the glasses or telescopes the pin hole just didn't cut it.
The sky was clear, the temperature was in the 70's, and all the people were friendly. It reminded me of a street full of people waiting for a parade. As we chatted with the others we discovered there were people there from much farther away than we were. It seems we had all read the same article that mentioned the park we were at. The eclipse reached complete annularity at about 6:25 PM. This picture is from the web, but it is exactly what we saw. As Judy would say "cool beans!"
Before driving back home we stopped for dinner at the Black Bear Diner. We were not impressed with the food. It was quite ordinary. I was proud of myself though. This is the first restaurant meal I've had since January. I eyed the big burgers on the menu, but choose to have a Chinese Chicken salad instead. While we were waiting to be served I found the nutritional information sheet tucked behind the napkin dispenser. A hamburger and fries was listed as having 1400 calories. My salad had 910. Given that I had only had a 300 calorie breakfast and nothing else all day, I was still well under my goal of 1500 calories for the day. We generally only drink ice water with meals out. I'm not a soda drinker. My weight loss is at 27 pounds now.
The Hyundai Accent preformed very well. We got 40.8 miles per gallon, highway driving, on the way home. Pretty good for a sub-compact! Now if it just doesn't wear out too fast we'll be happy.
Well it's after midnight now, and I'm off to bed.