Last Sunday as the annular solar eclipse was making its way down the West Coast, I was surfing in Northern Baja, glancing up at a gloomy sky and wondering if we would get to see it at all.
The eclipse was supposed to peak around 6:38 that evening, so at 6:15 we loaded into our truck and sped down a dirt road away from the coastal fog.
I gotta hand it to my friend Austin — he was pumped and pumping the gas over Mexico-style potholes and bumps on a road none of us had ever been on before.
We were trying to drive as far inland as we could before the sun went down, toward the mountains where we saw a break in the clouds.
The marine layer was thick and gray, and we could barely make out the sun behind the unrelenting cloud cover.
With the truck charging down the desolate farm road, all of us kept our eyes out the windows for any glimpse of the eclipse. The clouds were starting to dissipate and the sky was getting lighter. There was a small window amidst all the gray and I could almost see the sun peeking out.
And then — another hundred yards inland, a perfect crescent appeared in the sky. “Eclipse!” we all shrieked, and the truck screeched to a stop.
The clouds turned out to be a blessing, because it dimmed the light enough for us to look at the eclipse without special glasses or projections. It looked like a moonrise at dusk.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a solar eclipse… but being there in the Wild West of Baja, standing in the middle of a barren expanse of earth, witnessing a rare phenomenon with my friends after paddling in the ocean just hours before… it all seemed so surreal and alive. I could literally feel all the energy lining up that day and connecting me to the cosmos. And as I try to describe it, it’s almost indescribable.
I could never forget that electric feeling.
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