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Path of Totality on a KTM

I got swept up in the Total Eclipse Mayhem that seems to have taken over a large swath of the Country.

The last “Total Solar Eclipse” in the United States was on February 26, 1979… I was 9 and don’t remember the pilgrimage to special places or any of that. Of course there wasn’t social media and self absorbing dribble like there is these days…  People have literally planned huge trips and shelled out large sums of coin to go get a glimpse of the Eclipse –  I’m sure you have heard all the hoopla about it… It’s been on the news – there have been books written on the subject and special eye protection in circulation… even a few airlines emphasizing which of their flights will have a view of the solar spectacle… and charging appropriately…cough-cough…

“The path of Totality” (when the moon completely covers the sun) this year the width of this path is about 75 mile and will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina. Once the calculations were figured out, the towns in this path seemed to really embrace the opportunity…  I just so happen to be on an east to west road trip during this time and the closer I got to this “Path of Totality” it was like some crazy wildfire was spreading… Wendy “Watch Here” “Best Spot For The View” “Don’t Miss It” “Get Your Information Here” “Limited Edition Gold Eclipse Pendants Here” “Get Your Eclipse Pizza” “Eclipse T-shirts”

The parks were really on this… Yellowstone – was actually North of the path… but that didn’t prevent them from trying to lure people in – the park was in full Eclipse mode. The Grand Teton National Park was in the path and they had booths set up at numerous turnouts as well as every visitor center. Campgrounds were at max capacity with long waiting lists miles and miles away…

I happen to be in the Path of Totality in the Grand Tetons… and in Jackson, Wyoming during this time. You could see signs everywhere and masses of people milling around the cafes and shops asking with such interest “Are you here for the Eclipse?!” People were peddling eye protection on street corners. Cars with “Totality or Bust” written on their windows… Photographers and film crews setting up camera stands days before to ensure the perfect view.

We plotted a trip on dirt bikes of course. Our plan – to get out of the madness of the crowds. Follow the path less traveled…or so we thought! Once we grabbed a bite – geared up and gassed up – we headed out of town. Our destination Shadow Mountain via pavement and gravel roads we would be in the shadow of the Grand Tetons but we had to hurry! As we traveled people were lining the streets bumper to bumper. Two way traffic streets were now only one way. Motorhomes, Cars, Trucks, Vans and Tents all you could see – ribbons of colors leading the way. Photographers set up with special foil looking filters over their lenses – everyone using their glasses to practice staring at the sun.

We rode and rode it was as if we were in Tour De France. Speed limits of 25mph made it feel like eternity as we made our way to our spot… People from everywhere – Austria, Japan, China, Poland, France… you name it!… only thing missing was cowbells and  superheros dressed with flag capes…

We found our spot in the Red Hills overlooking the Gros Ventre River among beautiful hills and valleys – so perfectly silent except for the sounds of our heated bikes beginning to cool. Looking up with my National Park Issued Eyewear I could see it happening as the moon passed in front of the sun. SunSlowly the sky darkened like a purple hue and as quickly as that happened it seemed to turn to light again. Out of nowhere a large military plane flew over us – in this Path of Totality – it was amazing as it was so low and turning right overhead flying out of sight – (seeming more exciting than the solar show I just witnessed). And just like that I could see people in the valley below packing up and heading out.

We folded up our party glasses, threw our helmets on and whipped up little dust devils in our wake. Our plan was to start this “New Moon” with our first epic single track ride deep in the hills of Wyoming… and that it was! An absolutely killer day experienced from the seat of my 2017 KTM 250 EXC-F!

Later that evening as we walked through the empting town of Jackson – those that remained were still talking about the event – I heard many telling stories of their experience of the Solar Eclipse – yet one stood out among the rest… As a woman said to a stranger… “It was so amazing that I started to cry”

WOW…

Well I hope you had an epic day doing whatever it is you did – whether it included block parties staring at the sun for a couple of minutes or ripping on your motorcycle – we can all agree that the world keeps spinning – seasons change and Life Is What You Make It so Make It Epic!Gazing

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