Viewing the 2017 solar eclipse from Iona, Idaho

I will be adding to this as I have more thoughts, but wanted to get this posted sooner than later…

I guess I’m just another witness to a total solar eclipse, who doesn’t know how to describe what he just saw. I’m not even sure I can really remember what I saw. I’ve been trying to watch my solar eclipse videos and look at pictures to job the memory of something happened only 24 hours ago.

We drove from Provo, Utah, up to Iona, Idaho to witness this solar eclipse and to celebrate my good friend Patrick’s 42nd birthday.

We arrived at Patrick’s old buddy’s home in Iona and quickly exchanged handshakes and hugs with everyone there, introducing ourselves and thanking our hosts for allowing us to be there.

Video of the eclipse, in 47 seconds

But there wasn’t much time before this solar event.

Frantically, I worked as quickly as I could to set up my iPad on the back of the homeowner’s truck, so that video would capture the scene as we watched the sequence of this eclipse. I couldn’t get it to sit horizontally, so reluctantly I settled on a very narrow vertical frame (it wouldn’t turn out to be bad, but I wish I could have captured more of what was outside of the video — kids running around, adults gasping, etc.)

As we watched with our eclipse sunglasses on, we knew that soon a moment would arrive when the moon would finally touch the side of the sun and begin to move in front of it, like a curtain over a little window.

When it finally did, voices excitedly rose and children started running around happily. The more and more the sun was closed in on by the moon, the cooler it got, the stranger it got, and then finally — darkness.

We all took our glasses off and witnessed what I know I won’t be able to describe in any of these paragraphs: In the middle of a summer’s day — a fall breeze. In the middle of day — night.

The Moon hung in the center of the sun, perfectly, presenting a picture which is unavailable to the world, except very few times. Most people will probably never experience a solar eclipse. Today is the first day of my life that I feel badly for these people.

As the edges of the moon caught fire, I couldn’t help but remain transfixed. I became antsy, knowing that this would only last a couple of minutes. Quickly, I interviewed my three daughters on video and asked them simple questions, like, “What do you think of this!?”

We also noticed a hawk, flying erratically and screeching in protest at this strange event.

I kissed my wife under the 2017 solar eclipse.

I noticed how happy my friends were around me. I resolved to never forget this moment.

And then, as soon as the sun started to slip past the edge of the moon, I realized that our two minutes of odd, quiet glory were up and that I was already starting to forget the details of what I’d just seen.

No wonder people chase this event all around the world.

All I knows is that the one feeling I was left with at the end of this whole thing, was…”unfulfilled”. One solar eclipse isn’t enough for me. I need more experiences to be able to capture what it is I’m trying to capture.

For now, suffice it to say, it was a feeling of belonging, of togetherness with friends and family. The experience was sacred.

3 stiff miles along the flooded Provo River Trail

Location: Provo River Trail, west, to first gate
Miles: 3
Time: 30:16 minutes
Pace: 0:10:00
Temp:  50º
Air quality: PM 2.5, 0.4 µg/m3
Weather: Sunny, cool
People I saw: Dan! He said he’s just “getting back into it” after this winter.
Pain/injuries: Left hamstring, abates after a mile. Super stiff from Saturday
Weight: 188.5 lbs

As soon as I started running from my driveway, I could feel how stiff my legs and back were from Saturday. Fortunately, within a mile or so I loosened up and started to feel a little more like myself.

The water level is up pretty high on the Provo River, due to the water they’re letting out of Deer Creek. Just like on Saturday, I spent way too much time photographing interesting water levels. 🙂

Timpanogos with Jeffrey

At 11:30 pm on Friday night, Jeff and I started hiking up Timponooke Trail. We hiked all night and summited around 3 am on Saturday morning. Getting to the top was interesting, because there are basically steps cut into the last 1/4 of a mile, which you have to watch your step on.

Along the way we met Susette Fisher, who was in the process of summiting Timp 5 times in less than two days. This is an amazing feat, especially given how I felt after my own time spent on that mountain.

Along the way we saw porcupines, deer, goats and other animals. It was a pretty diverse (animal-wise) experience.

At the top we finally entered the box that awaits all who summit. I’d seen pictures of people taking pictures from this box, but never knew what it was for, really. I guess I still don’t.


Coming down was a trick. My knees disagreed with both the weight of my body and the steepness of the mountain. This happens to me on Squaw Peak, as well.

Jeff had his own issues, as he had a bowl full of cereal in his stomach and just overall felt badly. We slowed down to accommodate the pain and finished in a respectable 9-ish hours.

Roxie indicts parents for stealing tithing

On Sunday, which was Fast Sunday, Roxie got up to bear her testimony. I couldn’t really tell where she was going with her point, but she finally told the Provo Parkway 4th Ward that some money was missing from her tithing box. She continued, by saying that she knew that her mom and dad had taken the money, but that she forgave us.

THEN she let everyone know that if her mom and dad needed the money, then that was ok, she was still going to forgive us.

Wendy and I are dying, trying to melt into the pew.

I sat there, smiling, while Wendy kept looking at me, to see if I was going to have a sniper take her out. When Sacrament Meeting was over, Wendy asked Roxie why in the world she’d gone off like that. Roxie started crying and I knew, immediately, that she really did forgive her parents for “stealing” her money and that this was her way of helping us to come clean.

It was darling. It ruined our social standing, but it was darling.

I guess we put the house up, now?

Runnin’ 4 miles, like a gangsta’

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 42:45
Pace: 0:10:23
Temp:  19º
Weather: Cold, frosty, clear
People I saw: Jane, Roxie, Reagan
Pain/injuries: None
Weight: Titanic

Notes: Last night I was nervous to even say anything. But the girls had already told me they wanted to go, so I broke the news to Wendy. “The girls want to go with me, tomorrow. We’ll be going four miles.”


But Wendy was a good sport and got all of their clothes together, anyway.

I woke up at 5 am and tried to sleep, but it was off any on. Finally my alarm coaxed me out of bed and I woke the girls. Both wanted to run. Weird kids.

I walked over to the back sliding glass door to see what my outdoor thermometer reported. 19º. Uh oh. This could go any which way. I started to wonder if this was not ok, taking my kids out four miles in this cold weather.

We all got dressed, and snuck through the back door to ensure that no one else was awoken. Once outside, it was just incredible how cold it felt. I’ve gotten soft. It’s been a while. And the girls never, ever go out in anything less than full winter attire, when it’s below 30.

It was mostly uneventful, except for one unfortunate problem: Roxie and Reagan accidentally were wearing each other’s leggings. So every 1/2 mile or so, Roxie would complain that her tights and underwear were falling down. So we’d stop and I’d help pull them up, then we’d continue.

At mile 1.5, the girls excitedly recognized the landmark and knew they were running past their previous distance. At mile 2, I pointed out to them the clump of dirt that always marks 2 miles for me. At this point we turned around and started to head back.

I kept asking the girls if they were ok and if they were cold. Roxie reported that her face was cold, but I told her that was ok, as long as her legs and chest were warm enough. She said they were, so I didn’t worry too much.

Once we were on the homestretch, both Reagan and Roxie were slowing down. They were finally tired by distance. I think we found a good place to cap the distance (except for the Chico Nelson Turkey Trot, which is five miles on Thanksgiving). I don’t think I’ll take them any farther than 4 miles for a morning run. Maybe next year I’ll let them go farther, but I think that they’re fine running between 3-4 miles at a time.

As we walked into the house, I told them that this was my favorite part of a winter run- warming up after having run outside in the cold. They agreed. Once inside, they were greeted by the rest of the family. They seemed happy and content with their accomplishment.

I am so proud of Roxie and Reagan, for running so well and strong and not complaining one bit about the distance or cold!

Extra note: I really regret not having taken their picture on the trail. I forgot, I think, because of all of the stopping for leggings adjustments.

Race report: The 2015 St George Marathon

On Friday afternoon, Dad, Mom, Wendy, and the kids went to the Saint George Marathon Expo, held at the Dixie Conference Center. We walked around, got our race packets, and I picked up some much needed Body Glide (this would turn out to be more of my more brilliant marathon strategies- not to chafe.)

We had Mom’s patented Marathon Lasagna and I tried to go to sleep at 8 pm. Here’s why: The Saint George Marathon was giving out guaranteed spots to the 2016 marathon, for those who would be on the first 20 busses, before 3:45 am on marathon morning. I knew this problematic for both my dad and me. Both of us needed sleep. But Dad has guaranteed entrances to the marathon, since he’s already done 10 of the St George Marathon. I still needed 3 more SGMs to get to this coveted point.

I probably didn’t actually fall asleep until about 10:30 pm, but that’s also sort of a record for me, on a marathon eve.

My alarm woke me at 3 am and I actually considered resetting for 4 am and just bagging the automatic entrance. But then I thought of how often Present Nathan really messes up Future Nathan, so I did the future me a solid and got up. I walked over to my parents room to make sure that my dad got up. I don’t think he sleeps well at all. He wakes up so fast, even when he’s only had about 3 hours of sleep.

I didn’t wake Wendy up. Instead, I just got dressed, went into the kitchen and make myself breakfast. I wasn’t going to eat it right away, so I just bagged it. Soon, Dad and I were on our way. We parked the Highlander at 100 South and 400 East, only a couple of blocks away from the busses. I sort of hurried us along, worried that I might not make the cutoff for the 2016 automatic entry.

Alas, we had plenty of time. We boarded the bus and sat in our cramped seats. Dad, traditional as he is, asked me, “Now, why are we doing this, again?” Every year, he asks this. Every. Single. Year. For some reason, though, it always makes me smile.


Bishop David Willian passes away…

Mom just called to let me know that Bishop Willian passed away on Saturday.

It was my privilege to know Bishop Willian. He was a close friend of my Dad’s, and so he was a close friend of the family. He worked on my teeth, tightened my braces, fished with me and my brother and my dad.

My view of a bishop’s infallibility was shattered on a fishing trip, when after catching his line in the tree, uttered “Oh, crap.” I immediately related to the man.

I took care of watering his plants and shrubs for a week, up Skyway Road, once. I would bike from the deli, up to his house. I’d water the plants, then bike back to Chico.

Bishop Willian was a good man and I hope he’s happier on the other side of life, now that he can function as he used to when I knew him.

We’ll miss you, Bishop.

The barn- screw cement; we’re going gravel

Two ton of rock is now dumped on my thick landscaping material.

Ok, cement is just too much stress. Can’t figure out a cost-efficient way to get it to the backyard without tearing up neighbors’ grass and fences. Mixing it myself appears to be too complicated for a 12×16′ section. So we are going wood foundation. Maybe cement for a barn, some other day.

Left work a bit early to get to Geneva Rock before they close (4 pm close?) Found driving around the place a bit complicated for a guy like me. Huge piles of sand and rock. Easy for me to get turned around. This is strictly a “me” issue. No one else I know would every have this problem.

Watched a front-loader dump two tons of 3/4 rock into Norm Beagley’s trailer, rocks bouncing everywhere, including toward my truck! I still think my truck is new (It’s almost two yrs old).

Very carefully navigated an overloaded trailer (one tire is bulging) back home. Expertly backed it up and then jury-rigged the trailer up so that I could take my truck (with Lucy, Roxie and Reagan) to Lowes to get some heavy landscaping material.

Used the Beagley’s wheelbarrow to move all two tons of rock to the barn’s site. Took about three hours. Lots of work. Reminded me of working with my dad and brother, Courtney.

Finally have most of my rock (pretty sure I’ll need more). Left a bit of space so that I can bring some conduit up into the floor spacing on the ground, for water and electric.

Next: Trench for water and electrical, spread rock, determine how much more I need.