I was all geared up, tested and ready to go when the winds of change would once again blow in my direction. An incoming text message from my friend Oliver popped up on my phone about a week before the eclipse. “Hey Aaron, I’m heading to John’s why don’t you come down and go to the eclipse with us?” John being an old friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time and had been nearly two years since Oliver and I had crossed paths, this got the wheels turning. Shortly after another friend of mine posted on FaceBook she would be in that same area for the event as well. Well who am I to argue with the universe if I get to spend the eclipse with 3 friends now? It seemed that more than just the moon and sun were coming into alignment for this particular journey.
Sometimes traveling on the wind can be fun yet frustrating.
The Wednesday before the eclipse I contacted Oliver. He was just coming out of the Smoky Mountains and regained cell service. Oliver informed me that going to John’s was no longer in play as he had family function to attend. Saddened about the missed opportunity to connect with an old friend, Oliver and I then began to brainstorm to recover these plans. I think at this point I was fabricating Plan E or F for the eclipse trip. I’m pretty sure we both had the Black Night running through our heads denying the fact that most of the options were cut off and arguing internally….. It’s just a flesh wound!!
We discussed our options, or lack thereof and figured we would have to think outside of the box for this one. Oliver diverted to Chattanooga for a couple of days while I began searching for a last-ditch accommodations. We were both geared for extended camping and that was the focus. All the national, state and commercial campgrounds were booked full in or near the path of totality. The outlook was starting to look bleak.
Seek And Ye Shall Find
In all my dealing with the internet since its entrance into modern life, I have stayed fluent with it. I joking say ” I can speak Google” and that isn’t far from the truth. Out of options I decided to look for unconventional place for camping. Still scratching at the back at my head why is there no AirBnB site for camping? Oliver and I had done this many years before when a friend let us use their back yard to camp closer to Daytona for Bike Week. Surely, someone implemented this thought by now?
Low and behold all the searching paid off. I landed on a site called Hip Camp and I swear I could hear angels sing after my frantic searching. I searched around and found a suitable spot that had running water, showers and toilets while in the path of totality. One couldn’t have asked for a better find at a reasonable rate. As good as it sounded, this place turned into one of the grandest experiences of my life. I believe it was grander than roaming the ruins of Pompeii or staring in awe at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Sometimes it’s not where you travel to, but more so how you got there and who you share it with. If you are lucky, you find adventure within adventures.
More on the Part 3 later