Saturday, August 26, 2017

Barry's Trip

Three years ago we took Zane on a little trip with us to the Strategic Air Command Museum and the Wildlife Safari Park.  We took Barry this summer, even though he had just been to the Safari Park a few weeks before with his folks. 

He stayed overnight Friday night with us, so we could get an early start.  It takes nearly three hours to get there from here and even with a few new things to play with, the drive was tedious.
We made one stop and I bought one of those "stackables", those big eyed creatures that are everywhere just now.  These look like a stuffed tube and you can only tell the different animals by fur color, little felt tails and feet and prehaps ear shape.  Anyway, there are cute, and I've been wanting to buy one.  Barry was absolutely thrilled and spent the rest of the trip playing with it.  It flew and scampered and fought and had a good time with Barry.

Safari Park 




There is a spot to walk around and see the goats.  They have a couple of bald eagles and from here trails go up to see caged owls, bears and wolves. 

Barry didn't want to try this, but he sure wanted Papa too!

He's trying out the levers.

Up the trail.

We took a longer trail around to get back to the starting point.  The map said there was a pretty steep place, but I thought I could do it.  
I could with a helping had and a rest on a bench provided at the top.

And the rest was downhill all the way.

Barry is very observant.  He noticed the acorns on the path, the insects and spiders that are ubiquitous to any outside fun, but the most enjoyable part for me was when he heard a bird song and instantly looked up to see it. 
He loves to be outside. 

SAC Museum

Inside the cockpit.

Flight Simulator

Barry at the controls.

Along with all the planes and history in the museum, there is a "learning place" for kids. 
Barry is demonstrating the power of air pressure -- thrust, in the flying world.  He pulls the ball up in the tube on the left, and when it falls it propels the tennis ball in the tube on the right; up, up, over two stories to fall back down in the net and back to the tube to do it all over again. 

Build your own Lego car to race.

There was also a place to play with plastic balls and blowing air.

The display areas have lots of space for a little boy to run. 

Barry enjoyed his time here, but the highlight of the visit was the escalator.

It beat out the elevator.

Airplanes on Display 


I would like to go back to this museum someday without children and really look at all the planes, the displays and the information.  The feeling I got when I looked at these warhorses of great battles, were shivery ones.  The battles, the sacrifices, the necessity.  It's an awesome thing.
Will it happen again?

Home again.

Supper in Burger King

Souvenirs--the Space Shuttle and the stackable, a lynx

A little bit more play before going home.  
Racing cars down a tube. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Great American Eclipse--The Kleeb Version

As most everyone across the middle of the United States knows, there was a total eclipse of the sun that ran across the whole US from Oregon to South Carolina.  
I've seen partial solar eclipses before, once in 1979 before eclipse glasses were even heard of by the general public, and another time probably in 1984 according to a chart I looked up on the internet that I viewed through a filtered telescope because of my connection with the Physical Science Department in college. (I was working there.)

We made our eclipse experience a real adventure.  The Great American Eclipse being touted as a once in a lifetime experience, we decided to make the most of it.  
I bought more eclipse glasses than we needed. Lorene took her boys out of school. We packed a canopy and a picnic, loaded up our pickup and headed out to the farm.
Jim was excited when he found out that our farm was dead-center for ultimate totality so that was were we went.  

We didn't think about the fact others would also see that area as one of the best viewing spots and we were a little surprised to see cars all along the highway setting up camp.
Then we felt rather foolish that we didn't think of it.  After all, if we did, others would also.

On the road to the farm.

There was even someone set up right at the gate!  We waved politely, open the gate and went on it, closing the gate behind us. 

Setting up camp.

I'm glad the boys were there and able to take in the whole experience.  Of course, they spent much of their time throwing sticks into the creek and very occasionally, especially when pressed to look at the moon taking bites out of the sun.
To them, the farm is a play place and they made the most of it. 

Outstanding in her field.

Jim set up a piece of metal to project the image of the sun on a piece of sheet rock.  That didn't work so well on the first try, but the holes in the steel post worked well. 

 Cutting a smaller hole in the metal gave us a nice clear image. (lower one)

This is another way we tried to watch the moon move over the sun, but we didn't get it to work very well, at the most we just had circles with a flat side. 

And the hour and a half go by to totality.  The boys are playing with bungee cords here.  They were making clotheslines.  

This photo shows perfectly the light going 'funny' right before totality.  The air temperature was cooler and the wind dying down. 

At last, totality!  

It was awesome.  And I mean that in the awe-inspiring sense. We watched as the last little crescent slipped away. It was dark, and cool, and up in the sky the corona was shining around the disk that was the moon.  

I'm amazed I got a decent photo of the corona.  Not a GOOD photo, the corona is actually a lot thinner, but I was pleased. 

And then, after a short two and a half minutes the sun peeks out again, and the glasses go back on.  
It was amazing how much light there is even with just a small amount of sun uncovered.  It's too bright to look at. 

Now the moon is sliding off the sun. 

More play time for the boys .

Right after totality, a few from our group drove around the section to see how many chose this spot for their viewing point. 

Eclipse shadows. 

When we were planning this event, I was rather, "This will be neat, but I don't see what's the big deal." Jim was so excited that I began to be, too. 
It was exciting.  I can begin to see why people chase total eclipses.  There's a feeling there of something big, really big, beyond ourselves, and something we will only experience that one time.


To end the day, Jim went to set a video cam by the creek to watch for deer.  I rode with him on the four-wheeler.  Might as well kill two birds with one stone!