I got to see the Eclipse in Totality in Idaho Falls, Idaho. My dad’s assisted living center had a viewing organized for the residents, staff, and guests. My sister had already bought me a pair of glasses.
They brought out a bunch of chairs and provided refreshments and snacks. They had a narrator also telling us what was going on.
So I got out there kind of late. The sun seemed as bright as ever but you would tell that the temperature was lowering and a breeze was picking up. Also, as the eclipse progressed, it didn’t seem to get that much darker until the very end but we could hear the crickets start chirping and the birds started singing. Right before totality it started getting notably darker.
It got pretty dark but there was light on the horizon for 360 degrees around us. The narrator told us that we could take our glasses off and look directly at the eclipse. I didn’t bring my good camera, just my cell phone.
When we took off our glasses off, everybody gasped. I have not seen any photographs yet that gives the experience justice.
It was like living, breathing physics and astronomy and was a little overwhelming. I can understand a little more why people spent such vast sums of money coming from all over to experience.
The next total eclipse coming to the USA is on April 8, 2024 and is nipping the very southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The above is a NASA map of the route of totality. I’m going to do my best to experience it again.
Idaho Falls, Idaho is home to the Museum of Idaho which has evolved into a first rate facility that is able to host traveling exhibits and employs a professional staff. Presently they are hosting an exhibit called Space that chronicles the past and speculates on the future of our exploration of Space. Our family went to the museum and paid our entrance and we toured the traveling exhibit and enjoyed it very much. What we were really interested in though was in the older part of the museum where idaho history is featured and where a replica western town called “Eagle Rock USA is located.” Eagle Rock you see is the original name for Idaho Falls.
Eagle Rock is special to us because they guy responsible for designing most of it and building much of it was my father. He and my mother retired in 1983 and moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Idaho Falls. I don’t know how Dad got involved in the museum but he did and I know that his volunteer gig building Eagle Rock, along with other volunteers and at times county jail trustees became his second job. I have photos somewhere, but don’t know where they are of the facility under construction.
He not only helped design and build it he also solicited donations of period furniture and fittings for the various “businesses” featured at Eagle Rock, such as the dentist office, lawyers office, carpenter, and blacksmith and general store. Dad donated a bunch of stuff that he had. The sleeping bag above, used to be his when he worked for the Forest Service. It was very warm, with the canvas outer and everything. My brother Bob and I used it from time to time for our Boy Scout camping trips way back when.
That’s Dad’s tag on it.
The Rex Rooms of Idaho Falls was also where the lonely men of Idaho Falls were able to find comfort and companionship, if you know what you mean. Several people didn’t really like its inclusion in Eagle Rock USA but it stayed.
Here is the Sheriff’s office, complete with jail. I meant to take a photo or several showing the overall setup of Eagle Rock USA but I neglected to do so. Sorry about that.
And dentist. I’m old enough that I dentists had setups like this when I was a kid.
The museum has a nice plaque with my Dad’s name on it. So it was nice to see something that he did that survives him.
I mentioned in my previous post that my father passed away in Idaho recently. That was sad but our small family gathered and we got to see our newest member from Arizona. What a sweetheart she is and so active. Getting friends and family together is a positive part of funerals so we gathered from the various corners of our country including brother Bob, a civilian employee for the Navy who was evacuated from his home in Corpus Christi because of Hurricane Harvey. He thinks his apartment is okay but will not be sure until he gets home.
My heart goes out to the Texans who are flooded because of the storm. I used to live in the Houston area.
Anyways from the scene above I could take photos of the Idaho sunsets over the back fence.
I also got some great sky shots while passing through the Denver Airport. I’m headed home this afternoon and will pass through Denver again.
One of my trips up here, I had to drive back to Salt Lake City to catch a flight home because of the Eclipse madness. I took the opportunity to find my first Utah cache. I’ve now got all the states in the west except for Nevada.
I had to turn around and fly right back to Idaho from Tulsa and I got to see a sunrise on the way back.
We had storms in Tulsa on Tuesday. I hate the storms but love the rain and all it brings us. As long as it is not too much. I’m choosy about my blessings.
I went out to western Oklahoma for a meeting on Monday. I love the big skies and the big hearted, hard working people out there. If you look close you can tell I work for a pipeline company based on all the stuff in the foreground.
This is evening on the Snake River in Idaho Falls from our trip out there a couple weeks ago. We went to check on my father. He is not doing very well and your prayers on his behalf would be appreciated. My sister is there with him right now. I think I’ll be going back soon.
I had a little time in west Tulsa this afternoon so I snuck over to Route66 Village and took a photo of the Frisco 4500 steam powered locomotive on display there. I love the locomotive not only because of it being there at Route 66 Village but because me and and a couple of coworkers found it during a geocaching outing during lunch years ago. We found it out in the middle of nowhere in north Tulsa so I think we were in the know before it was cool. It is a huge engine. Those wheels that it has are each taller than I am. It is truly a monument to early 20th century technology.
I had been gone from by beloved Turkey Mountain for two weeks and last night got to run on it for eight miles. I love running and knowing that nobody knows where the heck I am. I am fully cognizant that this can really truly bite me in the butt under the right (wrong) circumstances.
I am a bad blogger. I am the only active blogger still hosting Skywatch Friday. Last week I got hte Skywatch Friday post up so my fellow Skywatchers could link to it but I didn’t get my own post up. Me an my family traveled to Idaho Falls, Idaho to visit my Dad. He is in a very nice assisted living facility but lately has had some difficulties. Sorry, I wasn’t into a blog post. As primitive as my posts are, I still have to be into doing them or they are not going to happen and when I am stressed I can rarely write a post. I can report that things are looking better now.
One of the beautiful things about Idaho Falls is the Mormon Temple right on the Snake River. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. I am not LDS but I have to tell you that they do their temples right. I have been thinking that when I retire I would like to travel the country and photograph the various Mormon temples because the ones I have seen have been architectural masterpieces. One of them, the temple in Oklahoma City, I toured years ago right after it was constructed but before it was dedicated. The exterior and interior of the temple was sumptuous. Nothing but the best went into its construction and furnishings.
The Idaho Falls temple just got through with a two year renovation and they got a refinished statue at the top. It is the Angel Moroni blowing his horn to the east. It is fiberglass and has a new gold fill finish that should last 20 years. Speaking of Idaho Falls, it is in the prime viewing area for upcoming solar eclipse. If you were staying there, check your hotel reservations. Apparently some hotels are cancelling their reservations because they can make more money rebooking the rooms to somebody else. Good old American Capitalism at work.
Idaho Falls has a great green belt along their frontage of the Snake River. My wife Heather found some decorated rocks on the greenbelt. I just love stuff like this. People doing things for other people to find and appreciate.She spotted several rocks. I have yet to find my first. How about you? Have you found any decorated locks yet?
This Spring Break all three of us flew up to Idaho to visit Dad and see how he is doing. And we took a couple of selfies while we were there. Those are big broad smiles above for Dad and I.
Our trip started out very stressful. We had a late flight out of Tulsa and then a nice connection to Denver so it was like hop, step, jump. That went away with a call from United who said that our flight from Tulsa was going to be delayed an hour so we would miss our connection and they had routed us through Dallas and Salt Lake City via American and Delta instead but we would have to hustle to the airport to get that started. So talk about a mad rush that didn’t quit. We sped to the airport and got checked into American just tin time, then flew to Dallas and changed terminals and endured some hassling from the gate crew about our carry on luggage but who led us board when they figured out that because American and Delta have severed all intercompany ties that indeed they couldn’t check a bag through to our final destination. Then to Salt Lake City where we arrived we spanned the the longest length of the airport and then into Idaho, way past our bedtime.
I don’t know about you but I hate flying. I hate the airlines, all of them. The people who work for the airlines though in general try their best to make things work for their customers.
While in Idaho, we took Dad shopping.
Note the teenage angst before work starts.
And we (Heather) rearranged Dad’s apartment.
Heather is a championship furniture re-aranger. Dad wanted to be able to see who is coming in the front door. So we’ll give this a try.
We had a little bit of fun. We went for a walk on the Snake River trails. About five minutes after I snapped the photo above, son while running sprained his ankle and banged up his knee. Oh well. It was a nice five minutes.
Our flight back was a lot more relaxing. We had a long layover in Denver but we had a leisurely dinner and enjoyed a lot of great people watching.
So that was our Spring Break. How was yours?
Here is my Super Moon photo!! Actually I was a day late. I flew up to Idaho to visit my Dad in his Assisted Living Center and I neglected to take my moon camera. So I took this the day after the Super Moon Full Moon so I was close. I have a Canon SX40 SuperZoom and boy does it take great (at least I think they are great, okay) moon shots. I used to use a tripod with it but now I just hold in my hands on the auto setting a let her rip (as we say in Oklahoma). And if you know me, you know I cheated. If the skies are clear I haul out the Canon every time the moon is full and take a few shots . Of course the moon being the moon it doesn’t ever change much so I could really be cheating on this. But you know that I would never do that.
Dad and I. I think this is like his third or so ever selfie. He has a lot of catching up to do. Not that he feels the need for it. He doesn’t understand why everybody spends all their time looking at their phones.
This is a door wreath that my sweet, crafty, and considerate sister Ellen made for Dad. If you look closely at his US Forest Service Arm patch from his uniforms, a Smokey Bear, and a University of Idaho rifle team patch from his letter sweater. Dad had to drastically downsize when he moved early this year and Ellen was able to recycle some of the items into this wreath.
I took a run on Idaho Falls’ river trails. It was ridiculously warm while I was there but is frosty now. Just so you know I’m going to recycle this pic at some point in the future. Idaho is just so beautiful!
I stayed in a separate room at the Assisted Living Center. I think he is in a good place. The staff is very nice and very patient and they know everybody. The rooms are nice and the food is pretty decent. They have lots of activities planned and a couple of vehicles to get everybody to their doctor’s appointments and shopping and such.
The Falls that give the town its name are very dramatic. I never get tired of going to see them.
So we had a good visit. I got him to go to an exercise class and we both had a great time. The two instructors were very nice and inclusive and very supportive and the other students were having a great time so hopefully dad will go back.
A cool link between Idaho Falls where my Dad lives and northeast Oklahoma where I live is that Wilson Rawls, who wrote “Where the Red Fern Grows” wrote it while he lived in Idaho Falls. He and the book are celebrated with this sculpture in front of the city library.
But I didn’t take my camera so I took the pic of the moon after I got back to Tulsa.
As I’ve written before when my dad moved into assisted living last month my sister gave me a bunch of his old slides when she prepared his house to go on the market. So going through his slides has been like opening Christmas presents because I never know what I’m going to see.
One box slides was some that Dad took of a prescribed burn on the Payette National Forest in Idaho back in 1966. Dad was in the Forest Service his entire career and spent many summers fighting fires all over the west. These photos were of a prescribed burn which is an intentionally set preventive fire to cut down on the fuel that may later lead to a big fire. Check the link for more information.
I was never much interested in following in my Dad’s footsteps although I respected him and what he did tremendously. I only viewed big fires from a distance and they always puckered me up up. Photos don’t give a big fire justice of how it takes up an entire mountainside with smoke reaching to the heavens. I think Dad ate it up though.
So I picked out a few of the slides of this controlled burn that stayed under control. I think they make good photos but count me out for being there live.
This is my favorite of the bunch. I have no idea what is going on but in my mind these guys are assigned to watch the fire and they are doing that while swapping stories about the big fires they have been on.
So, have you ever seen a forest fire live?
The prompt today is Fall, cheater than I am I am going to use Falls. Last weekend I spent in the town of Idaho Falls. People in southeast Idaho sometimes just call the town “the Falls” kind of like people in Oklahoma call Oklahoma City, “the City” as in, “We went to the city last month.” Anyways Idaho Falls actually has a waterfall of the Snake River right downtown. So you are thinking I’ve gone way over six words. Well I hadn’t started yet you see. Anyways here I go.
Above the Falls!
Below the Falls!