Jon is an idiot

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-10-12 - Travels

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For 4 minutes, out in the Nevada desert, there will be an eclipse in two days. Against odds, I hope to will be there.

Caring about Jon has always involved having to somehow come to grips with the inevitable reality that I will completely refuse to take care of myself, or be safe, or act like an adult. If you ask me to "drive safe", you do so knowing that I won't. If you tell me "you should see a doctor" when I should obviously see a doctor, again, you do so knowing that I won't. Even if we both agree "this plan is ridiculous for no good reason", we both also know I'm doing it anyway. I'm sorry. I really am. I'm guessing that sometimes it's pretty hard to genuinely care about me. When I seem so unwilling to care about myself. I truly appreciate your concern, and I'm grateful for it. Really.

But I seem to just lack the genetics for any sort of mature mindset when it comes to my own self preservation.

"Big deal???" you may say. "How much trouble can a fat 60 year old get into taking a photo of the sun?" Which normally would be valid. But for the last week I've had a cold/cough so bad I should have gone to the ER. I'm mostly over it. Mostly. Just a cold but it was miserable. But between coughing attacks I seem to have eaten enough of the wrong things to trigger a gout attack. So now I can barely walk. Doesn't matter. Going anyway. Doctor would just be a downer and tell me to not go on road trips in my condition. While they might be right, it's good advice I won't take, and I'd get charged a grand for nothing. As you can see, staying committed to the trip is the best choice. I've sat at home, safe and sound, for too long.

In a few hours I'll somehow get my stuff down to the car, ignore the fact I can hardly walk, and drive 7 hours into the desert. I will set up my tripod, take one photo, and then drive back home. If I'm feeling well enough to stand, and it's not pouring rain, I'll make shrimp scampi and garlic bread out of the back of my car. I wish I could say I was doing it as some sort of humble brag. Or to make it an existential fuck you to old age. Or as a personal challenge to fuel even grander adventures. But no. I have just been thinking about the photo too long, and now it must happen.

Or not, because all the weather forecasts are saying it will be too cloudy to even see the sun. And the low is supposed to be 35 degrees. So the 14 hour drive may be to only watch it get dark for 5 minutes while I shiver in pain.

If I don't make it back, please know you've all made me very happy. And I went down as I wanted - doing something stupid. Yes, you can have my stuff.

Today's photo - Oregon is such a beautiful place. But the weather and micro climate zones and long distances make sunrise photos difficult. Back in San Diego it was just about time and location. You show up at the right time and there will be a great photo. Here you drive two hours and pray. All of my previous trips north for sunrise photos ended in thick gray overcast. But there are several incredible spots I've seen in other folks photos where I really want the capture. And this is one of those. The sun only comes up in the right spot for this a few times a year, making the 2-3 hour drive even riskier. So, as one does, you pull up in the dark, jockey with other photographers for a spot, and place your bets. Me and about 10 other photographers standing in the cold and waiting..... waiting.... waiting..... Then it all pops off. Decide on f/8, 1/160, 171mm, ISO100, press the button, drive two hours back home. What a crazy hobby.

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