Project Emily Advent: Day 17

Project Emily Advent: Day 17

Describe one of your favorite travel memories.

When Peet and I had only been married for a couple of months, we drove to Missouri together to see a solar eclipse. It was our first road trip together. We spent one night in Arkansas on the way there, stopping at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, a popular rock climbing spot. We arrived at dusk. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, nothing short of breathtaking. Rolling green hills, vast and pure. I tried to capture a photo, but they never do it justice. The canyon was quiet, sort of as if it had been hushed and was being put to sleep. There was hardly anyone around. We set up our tent in a small clearing near a creek and watched goats graze nearby. We ate packaged food from a jet boil and drank wine. The next morning we did a little bit of rock climbing and I completed a climb and was very proud of myself.

We drove on to Missouri and stayed in the Mark Twain National Forest. There were a lot more people here, and we could feel the buzz of excitement about the solar eclipse. We swam in a small creek nearby, the water murky and cold. The next morning, we gathered in a clearing reserved for stargazing with something like thirty or forty other people, waiting. The sun was covered slowly, slowly, and we gazed at it through our special glasses. When the moment of totality came, the natural world was jolted. It was early afternoon, but the wildlife began to act as if it were dusk. The light was soft, insects started humming loudly, birds were quiet, dogs barked. We took off our glasses and looked at the sun, covered completely. The moment was surreal. Peet was completely enveloped in delight.

We didn’t stick around long when it was over. We had to get back to Texas as soon as possible so that Peet could make it to a school orientation. Pulling out of the park, we passed by a good swimming spot and Peet pulled over for a quick dip in the water. We drove back, through the night, and made it in time to sleep for a couple of hours before I dropped Peet off for his orientation. I wasn’t feeling well and we were both exhausted and stressed. But it was our first road trip as husband and wife and we figured it out together.

We learned that there would be another solar eclipse seven years later, much closer to home. We joked that maybe by then we’d be ready to have a baby. In April, we’ll take our baby girl to my parents’ place to watch the eclipse with my family. I wonder what she’ll think of it.

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Project Emily Advent: Day 25

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No joke.