Lomo Goes West

I'm going to Wyoming for the solar eclipse. I know. You weren’t ready for that. When you think of me, wide open vistas and astronomy don’t come to mind. But I’m thinking outside of my own box.

I’ve been excited about the solar eclipse since I first heard about it. My jaw dropped as the NPR reporter described what happens in the path of totality: the moon is at a distance where it completely covers the sun, turning the sky pitch black midday revealing stars and planets. Crazy! I was sad to learn that NYC is not in the path of totality, but we get most of the cool things, so fine if Carbondale, IL has a little more fun than us just this once.

Then David’s high school friend texted him. His family has a cabin in Wyoming, right near the Grand Tetons (and in the path of totality). He invited us to join him and his girlfriend. It was a no-brained.

I was extremely excited, but then a wave of worry hit. What does one wear in Wyoming? Will I have to drive (one of my least favorite things)? Is there food in Wyoming? What about my eyes? Will there be animals everywhere? Is this going to be a Get Out type of situation? This is where I’ve landed:

1. What does one wear in Wyoming: It’s not like I’ve never been outside before, but I’ve never found myself out in the Wild West/home on the range. My dream would be to get my hands on the cowboy-inspired House of Dereon outfit Beyonce wore in the Bug a Boo video, but that seems unlikely before Thursday. I mostly own jumpsuits and dresses. My boots are not made for walking, at least not on dirt and grass. To make things worse, the temperature is going to be in the 70s during the day and drop to the 30s at night. So I guess I’ll just bring everything I own and work it out once I’m there.

2. Will I have to drive: Holy moly, will I ever. David and I are flying into Salt Lake City, and everything I know about that place I learned from Julie from The Real World: New Orleans, so not super pumped. Less pumped about driving for four hours to the middle of nowhere (aka a beautiful nature place). Kinda pumped about our wheels: a white Nissan pickup truck, the cheapest thing on offer. Full photo shoot? Duh.

3. Is there food in Wyoming? TBC.

4. What about my eyes? We have special glasses that NASA says are cool. They’re basically the 3D glasses we all wore to see Honey I Shrunk the Audience in ‘94, so I’m feeling pretty safe.

5. Will there be animals everywhere? David says yes. There are moose just being casual, and I imagine some deer and such will scamper by. I can’t see a bear, so no, there aren’t bears. I’m pretty excited/scared for the animal behavior during the eclipse itself. Apparently they are going to be confused by the shift, which makes sense. Birds are going to lose their minds, as well as bats and the like. I’m going to wear a hat just in case.

6. Is this going to be a Get Out type of situation? (Takes deep breath) This is why I’m telling you all where I am going. Keep tabs on me. I don’t know a lot about Wyoming, but I don’t think they have black people out there. Plus I’m going to be staying in an isolated cabin, and there will be a point where it goes dark in the middle of the day. If that doesn’t sound like a horror movie, I don’t know what does. Sure, I’m going with my husband. But do I really trust him? I’ll be in charge of the keys.

I’m really, really excited about this trip, despite what might seem like high-key anxiety. Hopefully the worst thing that will happen is that it’s cloudy on Monday, and I just enjoy a relaxing weekend in Wyoming without observing a major natural phenomenon. Best case, I experience something I’ve never seen before whilst maintaining my vision, feel physically and emotionally comfortable the entire time, and am not swallowed whole by a bear. Wish me luck!