• Blaine Hoppenrath

When was the last time, You did something for the first time?


As an adult we get to live new experiences fewer and fewer times. Don't get me wrong, we get to do a lot of "new" things. We get to go to a band we have never heard of or a city we have never been to. But while these experiences are "new" we have a pretty good idea about how they are going to make us feel.

I know that when I go to a new mountain range I am going to have my breath taken away. I know it will have its own personality that I have not seen before in other ranges, but I will want to know what its all about. I know that when I go to a concert of a band I have never seen live that I will enjoy the music and the melodies will make me feel alive. They are experiences that I can relate to in some way shape or form to have a general understanding of how that experience will make me feel.

But a solar eclipse. That's a new one. I have the pleasure of joining my friend and her family to head to Driggs, ID. A spot where we were going to experience a little more than two minutes of totality. There were about 20 people at the watch party and nobody really knew what to expect. Some people had seen a partial eclipse, most had no clue what we were getting ourselves into and what we were going to see. We thought that it might be cool, we would get to wear some goofy glasses, and that it wasn't going to happen again for a while.

We woke up and enjoyed some breakfast in anticipation of what was going to happen. Around 10:15 AM the first person looked at the sky (with his goofy glasses) and proclaimed that it had started, the rest of the group put our goofy glasses on and looked a the moon starting to dance its way across the sun. The moon slowly danced it was across the sun and about a half hour in I had begun to question if it was worth flying to Salt Lake and driving 5 hours to watch this spectacle.

But about 20 minutes before totally I could distinctly feel the temperature drop. And the sky started to noticeably darken. We still had to look at the moon and sun with the goofy glasses but there was a feeling in the air that something pretty amazing was about to happen.

As the minutes got closer to totality the view became more and more spectacular. With the Tetons in the distance and the imminent sunset the view changed every second.

Finally. Totality. We took our goofy glasses off and looked straight into the sun. The sky was dark with a thin strip sunset overlooking the Grand Tetons. I know I probably spent a minute trying to take a handful of pictures and a minute trying to enjoy the experience. The moment was fleeting and when the sun poked back out from the moon the buildup and the moment was over. The sun quickly rose and the the day returned as if nothing happened.

It was a completely new experience for me and I loved it. I don't know how many opportunities I will have in the future to experience a new first, so I'll just hang on to this one for a while.


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#solareclipse #idaho #driggs

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© 2020 Blaine Hoppenrath