We had reserved a ring-side eclipse campsite in Glendo, WY back in the latter months of 2016. Prepared is a good way to be for totality, right? As the main event inched closer, the collective thought was that the middle of the potential madness (with 2 littles in tow) was not sounding as appealing as it had a year ago.
Head against the flow of traffic into Colorado and then catch the lunar show in our front yard a few days later? Sure, why not. The interwebs found us a spot at State Forest State Park (inventive naming for the win) and we set off in Phyllis, as our yellow Penny bus's motor was in a million pieces on our garage floor.
Now for a place with a lackluster name, the view left nothing to be desired. This dot on the map was literally one of the most beautiful places I've seen in my moderate Colorado travels. Not only was it easy on the eyes, the quiet was unlike any other. We couldn't have asked for a better place to spend a relaxing weekend while trying to escape from the craziness in our typically sleepy home state.
Although (for better or worse) the Rocky Mountain wind tested my arm strength on the paddle boards, being out on the water was just what the doctor ordered. It's been a hectic few months (both personally and professionally) and I can't count the number of times I looked up from what I was doing on this trip, took a breath and just enjoyed. Especially when we caught sight of a few Bald Eagles circling in the trees right beside the lake. Oh yea, I fangirl'd a bit for those guys.
It amazes me the truth in this Go Slo lifestyle. As a gal who usually moves a mile a minute, just reminding yourself to feel the wind in your hair, savor that sip of coffee and love the distant giggle of your kiddos is soul cleansing. Believe you me...a game of fireside Uno, roasted hot dogs and skipping rocks with some of my favs isn't a bad way to slow it down a bit.
An evening around the campfire melted into a brisk Colorado night sleep, culminating in a fresh pot of coffee in the morning and a hike around the lake. Late morning came around and it was time to get heading home. If you're ever in the area and can take a drive through Poudre Canyon...DO IT! Breathtaking, to say the least.
Our little man definitely camped a bit too hard (concerning those chocolate donuts for breakfast), but aside from a little bit of carsickness and eclipse traffic, we all arrived home in one piece. Including Phyllis. Total yays for a incident-free VW trip!
Monday was the day. We were in the range for 98% eclipse totality...what could be better than that? 100%, that's what. No regrets for our Rocky Mountain weekend, but that 2% made a much bigger difference than we were expecting.
Nevertheless, we donned our glasses, peered through the telescope and marveled at a spectacle that truly is pretty damn cool. Eerie light and all.
Were the kids impressed at the eclipse? Not really. Could they have spent 100 more hours skipping rocks in the lake? Absolutely. I'm not picking my outdoor battles here, folks. Fresh air is fresh air.