Thursday, April 11, 2024

4/8 2024 Eclipse, Goreville/IL site pics [ 4/8/24 solar eclipse, Moreville/IL ]

Matt Payne's beautiful farm, gave me a private-area in horse-pasture (poop everywhere..kept me on my toes, LOL). In a depression, with rising hill to south. Latter is where Wide-Angle cameras setup..looking over beautiful pond

Tall cell-tower to the West, fiber-connected service. WiFi available in the field!

Just 30 yds away was my French eclipse-chaser friend (Nico LeFaudeux)

[ he was setup just 30mi west of me in Eastern Oregon, during 2017 eclipse ]

optical engineer with custom-built Maksutov-Cassegrain (with custom designed field-corrector). Accompanied with wife & 3 yo daughter. Nico flew into Houston on Thu, but faced a car-rental CRISIS (they didn't take his CC w/Debit feature). He got a BoA CC on-the-spot the next day (Fri), then drove hurriedly to Jonesboro/AR

During this time, I was in my own hurry-up mode:

Smokey & Bandit run

from LA to Amarillo/TX.. Awake for 31 hrs straight, left late on Wed @1pm. Had front drive-shaft resonant vibration @60mph, set CC (cruise control) to avoid vibration. Got PASSED by everyone (incl semi-trucks)..AARGH!

Blew into Amarillo/TX sleep-deprived, checked weather-forecast. Looked bad for TX, also AR. Had to text nice-lady in Shirley/AR (Rocky Creek Ranch)

that I had to back-out. Left Amarillo 1am, then COULDN'T TAKE the front drive-shaft vibration, which had lowered from 60mph to 55mph!! Pulled over at 1:30am at a gas-station, REMOVED it! Whoala, no more vibration! Set CC (Cruise Control) & started JAMMIN' !

Destination was southern IL, even Indiana was an option

[ "Tibetan Cultural Center" south of Bloomington/IN. Steven and Jeff made HEROIC effort to find me a site, Jeff even offered his own farm! ]

Due to time constraints (practicalities in terms of Time/Energy/$$), it appeared Matt's farm was the FINAL destination

[ Indiana option was additional 3.5 hr drive -- I simply couldn't do it (already sleep-deprived), likely would have killed myself..]

Drove thru Oklahoma (NICE modern smooth highways!), then Missouri (clear skies as Friday dawned from the east). Drove thru Springfield/MO, then the eclipse-track in SE Missouri

[ there was a NICE campsite Lake Willippoor in this area ]

Continued on towards southern IL, some great modern highways! Poplar Bluff/IL was a pit-stop for gas.. Wonderful scenery, turnouts to forest parks. I texted Nico some pics along the way, which eventually led him to join me at Goreville/IL (Matt's farm)

I arrived @3pm, with Nico arriving Saturday afternoon. I heard someone speaking French, walked was Nico (with wife & daughter)

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