bell tower

The road less traveled is not a straightforward path. Sure, there are featureless highways that scribe straight lines between major cities allowing one to travel quickly and directly. There are global positioning systems that will guide you, turn by turn, to expedite your route from place to place. However, life as a nomad is rarely beholden to the structured itineraries of vacationing suburbanites. Our heroes are not burdened with tabulating long weekends or PTO requests to make the most of limited time off to maximize impact of their travel. No. For a nomad everywhere is their backyard. The attractions and temptations that draw the rooted folks out of their routines and across great distances are just around the bend for the wanderer. Unburdened by these things, every corner has the potential for adventure. As such, since the night our two heroes set their compasses toward the raw wilderness of Alaska, the casual observer would have yet to see much progress in that direction. Nevertheless, timing is everything. When an opportunity presents itself one must seize it! Even if that means making a U-turn!

“There is a total solar eclipse happening right around the corner from us in three weeks,” said this one.

“My framily1 is flying to Dallas to see the eclipse,” that one noted “I would love to see them!”

“How does one pass the time?” asked this one.

“Turn here!” exclaimed that one without a moment’s hesitation.

And just like that, the wind blew, and their journey veered southward marking the beginning of a side quest to share totality with familiar faces in an unfamiliar city.


The weeks passed swiftly as they explored the famed cities of the great state of Texas. San Antonio is home to the world-famous Alamo as many know, but this held little allure for these two misfits. Instead the El Camino de San Antonio - a trail connecting five Spanish missions - captivated their attention. The kilometers count as part of the famous pilgrimage path known to the world as the Camino de Santiago or simply El Camino. This one was excited; She loved a good trail. However, that one was skeptical. In either case, paths are made for walking and that’s just what these two did.

Although these missions do not carry the notoriety of the Alamo, our heroes were enraptured by their intimacy and history. While The Alamo sees more than 2.5 million visitors annually, the missions along the Camino de San Antonio receive around 250,000. As a guest, you can explore the grounds, visit the churches, learn about the history, and wander the halls of many of their buildings. This one loved the beautiful light playing off the stucco and stone surfaces. Trees growing out of the ancient courtyards casted shadows across the stone surfaces of the historic buildings which was a stark contrast to the Alamo’s downtown location. That one, learned of the area’s history and the significance of the Missions. She imagined the self-imposed poverty of the monks who inhabited this area many years ago. Contemplating a life so interwoven with the kindness and charity of their community in exchange for guidance and counsel. Longing for a simpler existence herself, this one empathized with relinquishing her earthly possessions and living off the land as the monks once had. They collected their kilometers and marked it as a head start for a future adventure of one day hiking the entire El Camino.

lookin fancy

Departing the spiritual paths of San Antonio, they arrived in the weird and trendy streets of Austin, a city of creativity and cuisine. Amidst cycling trips to the famous “Bat Bridge” and indulging in local delicacies, they stumbled upon a unique event: Harry Potter: Live in Concert! Embracing the opportunity for a day of whimsy, they indulged in makeovers, transforming into their best selves to delight in the contrasting extravagance of a movie accompanied by a live orchestra.

As they lay their head down to sleep, that one noted “Sometimes it is nice to feel fabulous and do ridiculous things.” This one agreed.

With Austin in their rearview mirror, they journeyed onward to Dallas where the total eclipse awaited. The anticipation was palpable as they joined friends at a backyard gathering, awaiting the celestial spectacle. The group injected some ceremony into the event with matching shirts. Everyone pulled up a chair to watch the moon and sun align to block out the daylight for an incredible 7 minutes on the afternoon of April 8, 2024. Along with the excitement of what was to come, there was much anxious chatter among the group as clouds threatened to obscure their view of this rare event. Despite this, hopes remained high.

“I’ve never seen a total eclipse,” said this one.

“Neither have I,” that one responded.

Along with so many others that day, the group gathered outside, donned their shades, and gazed up to the sky only to see a grey blanket of clouds blocking out the star of the show. This instilled concerns about missing this once (maybe twice) in a lifetime event. The group tried to keep their spirits up but the prospect of a clear unobstructed viewing was low. Nevertheless, they prepared their cameras, found their seats, and began the countdown to the main event. As the occurrence grew closer the clouds did not let up, and although they caught glimpses of the crescented sun here and there, it continued to play hide and seek with its audience. This one’s heart sank, but that one had not given up hope.

What happened next, dear reader, I will leave it to you to decide for yourself. But for those gathered on that day, hoping to see that unique phenomenon, it was nothing short of magical. That one stared at those clouds with intention. She dug deep into her heart, finding a power in herself that she did not know existed. She planted her feet hard against the ground, stood tall, and summoned an energy that even she did not believe she possessed. Encircled by her community, gazing at the darkened sky obstructing their view, she muttered a prayer, or perhaps it was a wish while others later recalled it was a spell she had cast. Whatever the case may be, she poured her heart into these words “Mother goddess hear my plea, part the clouds so we can see.”

Nothing happened at first or perhaps none of them noticed, who can say? But in a matter of moments, through their special eclipse-watching glasses, a crescent appeared. It was obstructed at first, but gradually became a clear solid shape. Had they simply taken off their shades they would have seen it right away, but behind their filters, they were captivated by the singular bright light taking shape. Moments before totality, the sky cleared, and they beheld the breathtaking sight: a blackened sun encircled by a halo of light. Stars appeared, shadows vanished, and time stood still in the cosmic shadow. They removed their glasses to discover a clear, albeit darkened sky. Totality engulfed them and this one began to cry at the enormity of it all.


Nothing could have prepared them for the experience they had just witnessed. The deep black circle with its white aurora shining like a black hole in the heavens was unlike anything they had ever witnessed before this day. In that fleeting moment, the trials and tribulations of their lives felt both insignificant and magnificent all at once. In the all-encompassing shadow of the moon hovering between the Earth and the Sun, they were humbled by their minuscule presence in a universe of incomprehensible vastness. Yet at the same time, they felt deeply connected to it all — the Earth, the moon, the Sun, and you.

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Table of Contents

  1. framily (n.) - A group of friends who are close like a family. One’s chosen family