I enjoy reading articles about solar eclipses from others, but today I’ll tell a portion of our own story.
Carol and I were on our 51st wedding anniversary trip and decided to visit our daughter (Darlene) and her family in Colorado, then visit the Rocky Mountain National Park just outside Estes Park, Colorado. But we timed our visit to coincide with the total solar eclipse.
We had seen partial solar eclipses and several total lunar eclipses; but never a total solar eclipse, so we didn’t know what to expect.
Darlene and her son went with us as we drove three and a half hours north of Denver. Arriving at Glendo, Wyoming around 4:30 on Monday morning, we easily found a place to park in an open grassy area, and took a nap in the car. Darlene and I awoke a couple of hours later and walked to the lake in time to take some great sunrise pictures over the water.
It was a warm day with planes flying overhead and hot-air balloons lazily hovering nearby. The count-down for the total eclipse began around 10:22 a.m., and our anticipation grew.
Thousands of people, including professional photographers, had their telescopes and cameras ready. Many were set up on tripods, but most of us simply held cameras in our hands.
I took several pictures with the camera pointing directly at the full sun with no filter, but shot most of the pictures with the solar-viewing lens covering the camera lens. I took a picture every 10 minutes until the eclipse was near 90%, then changed battery and began taking quite a few.
It was light enough to read with only 10% sunlight, but it got dark quickly after that. Then, as someone said: “BAM! Darkness!” And with the sudden darkness, the temperature suddenly dropped, making the hot-air balloons rise.
As noon-day brightness turned to night, hundreds of people shouted, cheered, and cried. I didn’t expect the sudden emotion that swept over me. All I could do and say was, “Oooooooooh Wow! God, you are amazing to arrange this kind of phenomena.” I took turns looking at the corona and taking pictures: taking 15 shots of the corona during blackout.
Then, again, “BAM!” The light came back on – but differently.
As the eclipse was increasing, the sunlight was dull-yellow; but the instant the sunlight reappeared, it was a bright, diamond, crystal color! What a surprise! I’ll never forget it. Again, very emotional. Cheering, yelling, crying spontaneously erupted from the crowd.
We didn’t wait for the eclipse to unwind. At about 20%, we packed up and began heading out … but another surprise popped up.
It took only 3.5 hours to drive from Denver and park on the grass at Glendo Park; but it took 4 hours to drive the 3 miles from the grassy spot to I-25. Then it took another 2 hours to drive 26 miles south. That is where we escaped the unending line of red break-lights and headed east for Scotts Bluff, Nebraska. After a snack in Scotts Bluff, we headed south, getting back to Aurora just after midnight; but it was much better than the projected 6:00 a.m. if we stayed on I-25.
As I write this Reflection, I am reviewing the pictures I took. Someone told me that taking a picture directly at the sun without a filter would hurt the camera. I am not bragging, but it didn’t affect my Nikon 9900. My wife also shot the sun directly with her Nikon 9400, and they both continue to work wonderfully.
We are now looking forward to watching the next total solar eclipse in Little Rock in 2024.
God didn’t have to put the moon in such an orbit that we would have lunar and solar eclipses. But He must have thought ahead and said, “I’ll make life interesting for my special creation – man. Not only will I give him animals to make life interesting, I’ll also show my creativity in the heavens for him to enjoy.”
Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.”
God is an awesome God. He loves you and desires to have a living relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Read about Him in the Bible. God would like you to spend eternity with Him.