No room in the inn

I started planning far too late, as I only heard about the event for the first time in January 1991, when a fellow Rotarian approached me during our morning meeting with a folded copy of Discover. Inside was Bob Berman’s “Night Watchman” astronomy column and his article “The Great Baja Eclipse”.

Bob described “chasers”—lunatics (literally) who traveled the world to stand for a few scant minutes in the shadow of the moon. I recall the phrase “better than sex” was used.

The Great One of 1991 was less than a year away, and I decided there and then I’d be attending—though everyone else in the world had already booked and confirmed their travel plans. In May I was still scrambling for transportation and accommodations. Eclipse mania had swept the country and every flight, hotel room, youth hostel, B&B, barn and backyard was reserved—even books about the eclipse were impossible to find.

As I lived in Southern California, the logical and subsequently luckier viewing destination was Mexico. A San Diego travel agent—remember those?—took pity on me (or tired of my relentless begging) and made it his quest to put me in the shadow. He worked zealously to find a flight for my then-boyfriend and I—hello Tom at Hillcrest Travel, thinking of you fondly wherever you are—and after a long waitlist period eventually sold us roundtrip tickets from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.

Above: Tee logo

Below:

Surprisingly, fares today are about the same or lower

Astronomer luggage 

Haircut, 1991

 

 

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