I Can’t Stop Thinking About The Eclipse.

2017 Eclipse

I can’t stop thinking about the eclipse.

I thought I pretty much knew what to expect from the 2017 solar eclipse. I understood the science. I had already witnessed a few partial/annular eclipses. I’ve been anticipating the event for a few years now and had read about the sensory changes I could expect to witness. I had a few good viewing locations scoped out with choices depending on the cloud coverage or crowds we might run into that day. My 3 1/2-year-old twins had plenty of food, water, sunscreen, eclipse glasses, and excitement. We were prepared for the event. But I soon learned that nothing could prepare me for the experience.

We had a perfect location on a ridge near Muddy Mountain Wyoming that provided 360 degree views. We were away from the crowds. And most importantly it was cloudless with 2 minutes and 18 seconds of anticipated totality.

We spent an hour watching the partial eclipse and eating a picnic lunch in the shade provided by some old, scraggly, Limber Pines. Eventually, the temperature began to drop slowly. Soon our surroundings dimmed and crickets began to chirp. I found myself caught off guard by the strangeness of my environment. The landscape appeared rosy and dimmed – as if I was wearing sunglasses. My stomach flipped with anticipation and anxiety caused by the surreality of my surroundings.

Quickly, much faster than I anticipated, darkness descended on us. The disorienting passage of time was head-spinning. I took my eclipse glasses off to see if I could see the umbra race toward us from across the valley below. But it happened too quickly. It was with a ridiculous suddenness that the moon’s shadow had shrouded us. I quickly turned around and looked up and saw the eclipsed sun glowing in the sky and my brain turned inside out.

My fingers fumbled around for my camera phone and I somehow managed to capture the image above. I tried to take a video of the “sunset” that surrounded us in every direction, but I only managed to catch these three seconds. I was overwhelmed.

The corona was much more bright and lustrous than I envisioned. It shone bright white and with a jaw dropping brilliance. We were all bewildered with its beauty and absolute strangeness. To look up into the sky and see a sparkling shine, unlike anything I have ever seen in my years of looking at the heavens. To share this with my wife and children.

And then it was gone. And now I can’t stop thinking about the eclipse.

When People Are Told They’re Beautiful

You so are beautiful – lovely words for anyone to hear. Travel Photographer Mehmet Genç’s “Very Beautiful” project is a simple idea: He tells people he meets on his travels that they’re beautiful and then photographs their reactions. His images truly demonstrate transformative power of kind words. Images from the project are below. The results are sure to bring a smile to your face. You can learn a little more about each of Mehmet’s subjects on the project’s website (translated). You can also follow his travels on his Instagram.

Atlas Obscura Map

Cartography Obscura

Atlas Obscura Map

The very enjoyable Atlas Obscura website has recently hit the monolithic milestone of 10,000 listed locations. To celebrate the occasion they have created a handy map that contains all 10,000 of the world’s most obscure and extraordinary sites.

Places as far-reaching as The Lucifernum, the Tallest Filing Cabinet on Earth, the Huanglong Travertine Terraces and Bo Kaap are mapped out for your convenience.

Have fun exploring!

The 25 Least Visited Countries In The World

Here is a moderately surprising list of the 25 least visited countries in the world. North Korea doesn’t even make the list (because of a mostly Chinese tourist base). Why some countries are less visited than others varies, but location, travel related logistics, costs, visa availability, degree of war and governments or lack thereof all matter. Here is the top ten with their approximate annual number of tourist visitors:

10. Turkmenistan: 8,697
9. Guinea-Bissau: 7,500
8. Libya: 6,250
7. Kiribati: 6,000
6. Equatorial Guinea: 5,700
5. South Sudan: 5,500
4. Marshall Islands: 4,600
3. Tuvalu: 1,200
2. Somalia: 400 visitor
1. Nauru: 160 visitors

That would make on heck of a bucket list. The author Gunnar Garfors has visited 198 countries and shares some of his experiences in traveling to these far-flung and rarely visited countries.

2013: My Year In Cities & Towns

My travel was light again this year. Below is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2013. I spent one or more nights in each place listed and those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.

Edwards, CO*
Niwot, CO*
Vail, CO*
Winter Park, CO
Salt Lake City, UT
Nassau, Bahamas
Alice Town, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Dumore Town, Harbour Island, Bahamas

I also have city and town lists for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

2012: My Year In Cities & Towns

My travel was light again this year. Below is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2012. I spent one or more nights in each place listed and those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.

Edwards, CO*
Niwot, CO*
Vail, CO*
Las Vegas, NV
Buford, CO
Rifle, CO*
Jacksonville, FL
Aspen/Snowmass, CO

I also have city and town lists for 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

2011: My Year In Cities & Towns

Below is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2011. I spent one or more nights spent in each place. Travel was a little lighter this year than in the past, though I did manage to get out of the country once again. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.

Frisco, CO*
Edwards, CO*
Niwot, CO*
Puerto Morales, Mexico
Maroma, Mexico
Boulder, CO
Jacksonville, FL
Steamboat, CO
Mt. Hood, OR
Washington, D.C.
Fort Collins, CO
Denver, CO*

I also have city and town lists for 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

2010: My Year In Cities & Towns

Below is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2010. I spent one or more nights spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days. Travel for me this year was about average. None of my traveling was for work last year, it was all for leisure and fun.

Frisco, CO*
Steamboat Springs, CO
Vail, CO
Edwards, CO*
Bogotá, Colombia
Villa De Leyva, Colombia
Nuqui, Colombia
Jacksonville, FL
Moab, UT
Telluride, CO
Durango, CO
San Francisco, CA
Denver, CO*
Niwot, CO*
New York City, NY

I also have city and town lists for 2009, 2008, and 2007.