Monday, May 21, 2012

Annular Eclipse

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. 
Good night!


  1. Very cool that you guys got to experience that. Most any kind of eclipse out here is shrouded in clouds :(
    Congratulations on your weight loss...very good! I'm still very pleased at my progress as well.

  2. When I first heard about the eclipse I decided I wanted to see it.....until I found you couldn't see it on this coast. It's great that you could. Spontaneous is good!

    Your new car gets great mileage. Glad you're liking it. Hyundai has come a long way and is now rated very well, so it should hold up very well.

  3. Sounds like a great car and a great eclipse experience!
    I'm interested in Hyundai and what their mechanical track record it. I think they are a great looking car!

  4. Looks like the two of you were in the right place at the right time! :)

  5. How wonderful that you got to see the awesome site. In Wisconsin it was just a partial eclipse. About 1/3 of the sun looked like there was a disc at the bottom of it. Great gas mileage on the new car!

  6. Glad you got to see the eclipse. We were helping friends on a project and forgot all about it until too late.

  7. We were too far south to see the ring but it was really exciting to experience the eclipse. Congratulations on your weight loss. You are really doing fantastic.

  8. Good numbers - for both you and the new car!

  9. Good for you for going to see the eclipse, and good for you for 27 pounds! We are impressed. We can't believe we totally spaced the eclipse! We had decided to veg out for the afternoon and watch a movie (Albert Nobbs, a wonderful movie for adults)before grilling dinner. As we began grilling, two neighbors walked by asking if we had watched the eclipse, and it "dawned" on us! By the way, we really do like the Black Bear Diner!

  10. Is your Hyundai a hybrid? If not, that's very respectable mileage - I'm impressed.

  11. The Accent is not a hybrid, but includes a gasoline-injection system that in the past was available in the US as a very expensive option from Mercedes and BMW. This year Hyundai and Ford have introduced it on low-cost cars, under the names GDi and EcoBoost respectively.
    For more info see

    It's a comment on US avoidance of bothering consumers with technical details, that we didn't learn of this feature until after we had the car. We just liked how it drove...

  12. Well done on the food choices and weight loss! That is just awesome.

    What fun with the eclipse. My dad came out to our place with his solar telescope but we have too many trees.

  13. What an absolutely wonderful day! I only saw a partial eclipse. I wish I could have seen the entire eclipse you guys saw.

    Can you believe you've lost 27 pounds? That's incredible, you must feel so good. :)


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