My dear readers, I’m sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me. This week has been such a roller coaster ride! (In case you were wondering, I don’t like roller coasters.😉)
Last Saturday turned out to be a horrible day. I sat in my chair and did nothing all day. I was in significant pain and had exactly no energy. I was light-headed and weak. Brett had to do everything. I wasn’t even strong enough to heat our leftover broccoli stir-fry.
That experience forced us to admit that I was continuing to go downhill in spite of being out on the prairie. We started to wonder if maybe the wildfire smoke blowing in from Montana was the main culprit in my decline. We wondered until we were just about convinced. That evening we decided that we needed to pull ourselves together and relocate. We tried to stay for a whole week and whatever it was, it was only getting worse. It was time to do something.
We thought we might have to go to New Mexico to get away from the smoke plumes but we noticed the smoke map was showing that parts of Wyoming were good too. So we decided to head there instead since it’s a lot closer and we have friends in the area.
We spent Sunday getting ready to leave and left on Monday morning. We decided to time our escape so that we would be in the path of totality during the solar eclipse. The only problem: we set our alarm for 5:00pm instead of am. Oops!
When we woke up I t was way too bright outside to be 5:00am! We overslept by an hour and a half! We weren’t about to give up though. We rushed around to pack up the van as fast as we could and were on the road by 7:30am. Not too bad! We still had a fighting chance!
We had to stop at a gas station on our way out to buy supplies so we could make our own eclipse viewers. They were already sold out of solar glasses when we went shopping last week. I looked up some tutorials while Brett was in the gas station. Then I got to work while Brett drove us towards the path of totality.
The roads were busier than normal but the traffic wasn’t as bad as we expected. I guess everyone else planned ahead. We were pretty sure at this point that we’d make it in time! Even if we missed the the beginning of the partial eclipse we would at least be able to experience totality.
As time drew nearer to the event we started seeing lots of cars stopped by the side of the road. It seemed kind of odd to us. Why would antone stop just outside the path of totality when they were so close?
We kept going until we passed the town of Lusk. Then we found a place to park along the road. There were several other cars already there. We got our chairs out and tested the solar viewers I had made out of Pringles cans. They were pretty lousy. You couldn’t see anything. Whatever. At least we’ll get to see the total eclipse.
Several minutes later I noticed that it was 11:11am. You probably didn’t know this about 11:11, but whenever you see the clock at this time you get to make a wish or say a prayer. I don’t know exactly how this started but we’ve been doing it for a long time.
In that moment, I wished that someone would give us their solar glasses so we could actually see the sun during the partial phase of the eclipse. I knew it was silly but 11:11am is a good time to pray silly prayers.
About 5 minutes later, a woman walked over to us and asked, “Do you guys have glasses?” We told her that we didn’t because they were already sold out by the time we started thinking about the eclipse. She said she had two extra pairs that we could have. I couldn’t believe it! Wow! The God of the universe heard my silly wish! It breathed a little bit of life into this weary heart.
We eagerly put on our new glasses and stared up at the sun. It was so interesting. I had never looked directly at the sun before. Then totality struck and the world went dark. It was odd. The best part was taking off the glasses to look at the sun. It was nothing more than a ring of light around a dark circle. Really beautiful! It was over in less than two minutes and the world lit up again! Wow!
After taking in the experience, we decided to get back in the van and continue on our journey. What should have been a 3 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive. The traffic was horrible! Truly horrible! I’ve never seen so much traffic in my life!
It was really frustrating but also kind of beautiful to think that these different humans from all walks of life had come to Wyoming to experience the same thing. We may be different but we’re all drawn to beauty.
To pass the time Brett and I played silly games where we’d each think of an object and then try to guess what the other person was thinking of. We could only ask yes or no questions and whoever guessed first won. It was a slightly modified version of a game I used to play with my family when I was growing up. I love it! We had a good laugh when I asked, “Is it impressive? Does it make you say ‘wow’?” and Brett turned out to be thinking of a trash can. I could hardly breathe because I was laughing so hard.
After several failed “shortcuts” we were able to get on a road to our destination that wasn’t crowded. We finally arrived at around 9:30pm and couldn’t wait to sleep! We were completely exhausted!
By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.