On the road again: A small town gets ready for a big event, Weiser, Idaho

The sky will turn dark this morning as we experience a total solar eclipse. The timing for our trip to Glacier National Park revolved around our getting to a place for viewing the eclipse–a once in our lifetime event.

So here we are in Weiser, Idaho, a tiny town living in the past as much as it can and enjoying it. When we arrived, a children’s festival was being prepared, an adult festival was already in progress, eclipse shirts and viewing glasses were being sold. Around our campground (which is really the lawn of the National Old Time Fiddlers’ Association), there are food and drink vendors. Two young boys are selling popsicles and ice cream.

The field across the street has filled with people, tents and RVs. NASA and MIT have taken spots on the High School’s track.

Right now at 8:20 Mountain Time, there are a lot of people setting up. Breakfast is being sold. It’s a bit chilly, so I’m going to get a light jacket and join everyone. I’m still not sure whether I’ll shoot the eclipse. Reason: I really don’t know what I’m doing. Last night, we fashioned a solar filter for my 55 – 300 mm lens, but maybe I’ll be better off taking photos of the eclectic crowd.

I only have a couple of hours to decide before the sky turns dark.

On the road again: Leaving Glacier National Park

Right now, I’m sitting inside my air conditioned trailer courtesy of the National Oldtime Fiddlers Association in Weiser ID. It’s hot outside and people from all over are coming in to view tomorrow’s solar eclipse. Whether I will be able to shoot it is still up in the air.

In the meantime, I’m going to show you some images from the Going To The Sun Road that are new, a couple from a pull out on the road heading into Idaho and one of a new fire.

I’m glad we went to Glacier National Park. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time. I can wish there was no smoke and no fires, but I’ve learned to deal with what I’ve got. That was my part of the trip and now we’re on to Richard’s part. Not that he didn’t enjoy Montana, and I’m certainly going to enjoy my once-in-a lifetime eclipse.

So here’s the end of Glacier National Park and, looking forward, perhaps, a way for me to shoot the eclipse.

 

On the road again: Two Medicine Lake & Twin Falls, GNP

It was a lot easier coming down on twisty Highway 95 than going up. We left Columbia Falls yesterday and are now in Weiser, Idaho for the solar eclipse.

But, before we get into the preparation for the eclipse, I need to close out our adventures in Glacier National Park (GNP). The first day of no smoke we, fortunately, had arranged to take a boat ride on Two Medicine Lake and hike to Twin Falls. It was an easy 1.8 mile hike each way, but our guide was young and walked fast. We had seniors and young couples with small children with us, and he sometimes had the group lagging behind. I almost had to run to keep up–short legs!

It was an enjoyable hike with beautiful scenery. The falls were nice, but not spectacular. I tried some handheld slow shutter on the wider one. I think I’m saying they weren’t spectacular because it was difficult to shoot. Nature had put barriers in the way and kids were climbing on the rocks.

Coming back, we missed the boat and waited with some others about 30 minutes for the boat to come back. I didn’t mind because it gave me a chance to relax and rest. It also gave me an opportunity to shoot some more of the lake. Of course, I was shooting, out the boat’s open window, all the way there and back.

We had one more day of sightseeing in Montana and a day of re-stocking and cleaning before our trip to Weiser. That will be in my next post.

We have arrived: Columbia Falls, Montana

Oh, we are the weary travelers. If we visit Glacier National Park again, we’ll be flying in and renting a vehicle! In our youth, driving almost 200 miles of twisty mountain roads would have been easy. But, now, almost 20 years more than the senior entry of 55 years, it’s more difficult. We arrived in Columbia Falls yesterday afternoon to our RV park for the next two weeks. We’re taking a lazy day today and will go into the the park tomorrow.

While on the road, I shot some more images from the truck window. I took these during our drive to Kooskia, ID. In spite of the highway, Idaho is a beautiful state. There are also 3 from the campground we stayed at. The new owners are updating it, but it’s great to be self-contained!

Yesterday, there was more of twisty Highway 95. We got an early start so our truck (a senior also) wouldn’t a difficult time pulling the trailer up the mountain. And, to my non-surprise, I was able to get some golden light drive-by shots. Once we got into Montana, the road was less twisty and the land became more flat. It took us a while to drive around the large Flat Head Lake. Smoke from fires hid the mountains. Just like California, Montana is on fire. When we checked into our RV park, the gal said they are praying for rain to put out the fires and reduce the smoke. Our hope is that when we get into the park, we have visibility.

 

And finally, while I’m doing this blog, Richard has been practicing with my camera and telescope as a lens, getting sun shots. The black dot, bottom left, is a sun flare. I’m hoping to get some good eclipse shots.

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That’s all for now, these weary travelers are taking the rest of the day off!

 

 

Macro time: WPA Rock Garden, William Land Park, Sacramento

If it weren’t for a friend’s gentle push, I would have gone back to the car and swapped out my macro lens for my walk around lens. I’m so glad she persuaded me to use the macro. It’s a great lens: 105 mm, 2.8, Sigma; and I hardly use it because there’s always a slight breeze.

Karen taught me to increase my ISO so I could shoot at a faster shutter speed, and I got amazing results. I’ll be using that lens more because I do love macro photography. Although the WPA Rock Garden is a small area, we were shooting for about 2 hours!

This was my last time out shooting because we needed to prepare for our trip to Glacier National Park. Right now I’m exhausted. We packed the trailer today, except for refrigerated food in triple digits. I did try to do a lot during the morning. This is our first vacation since our 2013 cross country trip. We’re also going to be in Idaho for the solar eclipse, and in a great vantage spot. We’ll be attaching my D3100 to a small telescope, so wish me luck. I have a couple of days to practice. Richard will be using his sun scope to capture images.

After that, we’ll head into Oregon to visit my older granddaughter. I’m so looking forward to this trip. And, yes, I’m bringing my macro lens with me.

Images from the WPA Rock Garden.