Kat and I are enjoying a mild Pennsylvania summer. For most of the past two weeks we have camped at Penn Wood Airstream Campground near Clarion. It’s a quiet, lovely setting amid a meadow with a clear creek running alongside. They have full hookups, good wifi, showers and a laundry that’s only one greenback (no coins!) to wash and another to dry. The people are friendly, and even let us wash Kat’s Cradle and the Red Sled. Clarion’s best barbershop is still only $10 including eyebrow trim and a hot lather neck shave. Its Wal-Mart Supercenter is just off I-80 no more than seven miles away.
Kat got the word from Amazon that her time has come to take this year’s drug test. That usually means the report for duty date is no more than a month away, often less. She was assigned to a Quest test site in Shelocta, PA, 45 miles away. You haven’t heard of Shelocta because barely a hundred people live there. Clarion’s population is 5,300 not counting a thousand or so students at the University. There are several other big towns nearby, but not one of them has a Quest office. (Quest’s VP of site selection clearly follows neither the Wal-Mart nor the McDonald’s model.)
Eclipse morning’s sun rose in a cloudless sky. We drove through New Bethlehem, Kittaning, and Elderton (named for Sara Elder, its first resident who bought land back in 1786). I thought Kat was drinking water much too soon, but she made it and soon we turned around for our return trip to Penn Wood.
The afternoon weather was partly cloudy and much of the time not even the pinhole and paper method showed anything. The light looked a little strained at peak sun coverage, almost 80% obscured, but still plenty bright. And then it was all over. I didn’t see anyone staring at the sun. I didn’t hear any “Ooh’s” or “Ahh’s”. But here and there people did stare at the sun. I know because of these pictures.