The Long Road to the Eclipse

We took a long road trip to Wyoming to see the total eclipse.  We could have made a day trip to north Georgia to see it, but we’ve been wanting to return to the West for a long time.  We decided to kill two birds with one stone by seeing the eclipse out in Wyoming.

I can’t believe how long I’ve procrastinated in publishing a new post on the blog.  There have been several reasons for this.  The first and most important is that I was starting to get jaded about the blog.  My byline, “Miles. Points. Cruising.” was no longer descriptive of my actual traveling and interests.  I have spent less time on mile and point collecting, and have turned my attention towards camping trips, biking, and, of course, our new boat.  I have changed my byline to “En Route” until I think of something better.  I’ll talk more about the change in blog emphasis in a later post.  Right now I want to talk about our great Eclipse trip.

Our Destination

B and I met many years ago when we were both working as geologists in Casper, Wyoming.  We saw so much of the state together on many climbing and mountaineering trips and we’ve been wanting to return for some time.  When we found that the total eclipse was going to pass right through Wyoming, we decided we would see the eclipse there.  We left our house on August 14, a full week before the eclipse, to give us plenty of time to get out there and scope out our staging area.

The Route

2017 Eclipse Road Trip Route
2017 Eclipse Road Trip Route

Our route was defined by two criteria.  1) We wanted to stay off the Interstates as much as possible, and 2) we wanted to stay in Federal campgrounds to take advantage of our Federal Access passes for free park entrances and discounts on campsites.

Our Camping Setup

We used the same camping outfit that we used last summer for our trip to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec–the all wheel drive Hyundai SUV, a roof carrier for the tent and bedding, and a rear car carrier for cooking equipment and bicycles.

This worked out very well, except that the carrier began to separate from the hitch during our return trip. We were forced to abandon one of the bicycles to take weight off so we could make it home.

Tent Camping Puts a Thin Barrier Between You and the Outdoors

It is wonderful to sleep outdoors when the weather is wonderful and you are camped in a beautiful place.  This is not the case when you are camping in the Deep South in August.  Our first campground was at Chewalla Lake near Holly Springs, Mississippi.  We camped right on the lake and took a swim, but the water temperature was at least 85 degrees so not too refreshing.  Right before we got in the tent I stepped in a big fire ant nest and got bit by at least 50 of these devils.

Attack of the Fire Ants in Mississippi
Attack of the Fire Ants in Mississippi

I popped a Benadryl tablet, washed it down with a beer and went to bed.  There would have been more bitching and moaning about the ant bites (me) and the uncomfortable heat inside the tent (B) except that it was too hot to move or talk inside the tent.  Only if we lay there buck naked and not moving was the temperature bearable.  So passed the first night of our trip.  (It got better.)

Next up–working our way north and west.

 

 

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