In another day and age, great plans were afoot and an expedition mounted to a wheat field.
The whole family packed in, kids, dogs, and even the cat. They had miles to go over some of the roughest terrain the region had to offer, followed by more miles of the flattest and least interesting terrain available for miles around.
Then, they had to pick their site with an eye for the weather. Watching the skies, moving a few miles at a time, placing bets on where the clouds would break and the skies would open up. And still leaving enough time to unload and set up, because their mission had a definite deadline. The Sun and Moon take orders from no mortals, after all.
The fallow wheat field was crunchy under foot in the cold winter’s morning. Frost was visible nearly everywhere, as the sun had only just risen. Unpacking was swift, although the dogs and cat chose to supervise from the relative warmth of the car. Which, in all honesty, likely made the process easier.
Crisp winter morning air, patchy blue skies, and no chance of weather more adverse than a stray cloud on the horizon. Circumstances could hardly have been better. The farmer was certainly ignorant of our borrowing his field, but with the crops long since harvested and planting months away, he had little cause for complaint.
The eclipse, for that was indeed the purpose of the trip, was magnificent.
The choice of a wheat field held another unexpected advantage.
Others had paid dearly for lodgings in town, with a group viewing from a parking lot. Their experience of the deepest eclipse was disturbed when all the streetlights came on. No one bothers to light the fields.
A lifetime’s interest in how things work was fanned into flames by that expedition.
Other eclipses followed, but that first one will always be special.