20-21 August 2017

The eclipse has come and gone! The anticipation and excitement has been rewarded and all of us who had the rare opportunity to witness the event from the “Zone of Totality” will have another GRAND story to tale.
This is how ours went:

On Sunday we arrived at the Latimer Boy Scout Reservation, after an fun trip north that included brief stops at memorials and road signs along the route from Harvest, Alabama to Spencer, Tennessee. Admittedly, I enjoyed reading the signs and taking photographs much more than my children, who began heavy sighing after the second stop, but such is life when you are a child with a history-loving mother! Besides, who wouldn’t want to stop at Lynchburg, Tennessee, the home of Jack Daniels Distillery, and the Homestead of David Crockett?!?

After dark, the boy scouts held a flag retirement ceremony and retired several American flags. If you are unaware, the traditional method of retiring a flag is to incinerate it; and if you have never been to a flag retirement ceremony, you should or hold your own.  It is a very special occasion and a sobering reminder of our nation’s history and the sacrifices of her people.

On Monday morning, my daughter abandoned us for kayaking with her sweet little friend, which just left Mark and I to our own devices. NOT GOOD.  NOT GOOD. So we decided to take advantage of the many walking trails around the reservation. We climbed up to Horse Pen Point for this magnificent view

and then walked the  lake trail over to the little chapel, where we met this little guy and enjoyed a great view of the lake.


Now, in hindsight that is where we should’ve stopped and turned around. But I thought we should continue on through the woods and complete the lake loop. WHY?!? Because I always discover something small and unexpected in the forest like these:

Well, we discovered something alright. We discovered that we somehow left the trail. We discovered that my phone was dead from taking photos. We discovered several other trails that didn’t take us where we wanted to go. We discovered that our map wasn’t detailed. We discovered that one bottle of water wasn’t enough for two people. But we also FINALLY discovered a landmark and, after another mile of walking, we made it back just in time for a quick shower, a quick PB&J, before the eclipse began.
It was an amazing experience, the wind rising, the strange twilight, the moon slowly making a crescent of the sun and then covering it completely. Bailey’s Beads. The dark in the day.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to share this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with my children. It was a fleeting exhilaration, like most momentous occasions in life worthy of experiencing, and one I’ll not soon forget.

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