Ahead of our aircraft a crescent Moon is rising. Outside the window it is completely dark, a blackness broken only by the strobing anticollision lights across the wing and the rising Moon. Seattle is still hours away as we cross the Pacific, there are no city lights below to break the darkness.
The waning crescent phase is another reminder that the total solar eclipse I have been anticipating is very near, only a few days now. Not that I really need a reminder, the entire reason I am on this flight is to meet the Moon once more, to catch the moment when it blots out the Sun.
Somewhere below me in the cargo hold is the telescope mount, assembled from restored and hand made parts. In the luggage bin overhead is the telescope, the little refractor that is a prized posession. Through it I have watched and photographed eagles and whales, volcanic eruptions, and distant galaxies. At my feet is a pack with a few cameras in it, only five.
For over a decade I have awaited the coming of this event. A day that once seemed so remote draws swiftly near as a rising crescent Moon portends.