Clear skies and a beautiful view of Albuquerque International Sunport for the annular solar eclipse. Turns out the angle of the sun was high enough to make the 12th floor hotel room balcony unnecessary, but I wasn't complaining, as it was nice to have a comfortable place to sit down and a bathroom right nearby. #gettingold
Being out of practice with a star tracker, the hotel room being aligned that I couldn't see Polaris anyway the night before, and never having used a star tracker for the day time meant my star tracker setup was total fail. Photographing at 500mm+ focal lengths is also quite a challenge, but managed to mostly get it done. Kind of wish I had done a last check of focus during the maximum of the eclipse. *sigh* Especially since I had deliberately chosen Albuquerque because it was near the center of the eclipse, and hence had a pretty long period of annuarlity at over 4 minutes .
Still was quite an incredible experience, even if not as dramatic as a total eclipse-- even with magnitude 0.97, the "ring of fire" is still far too bright to look at without protective equipment, so to the naked eye while there is visible darkening of the day, it is still a very different experience than the darkness of a total solar eclipse.
Encountered a group of local eclipse watchers in the parking lot as I was leaving that seemed like a cool group, although decidedly less comfortable in jackets, sitting on lawn chairs outside in the parking lot than I was in my hotel room. The walk back to the airport was also very quick now that I knew the proper route, and the flight back was efficient, with the exact same flight crew as the day before.
Stopped by the Long Beach Marathon Expo after getting back to LAX to pick up my race packet. This year they finally moved the expo from the convention center to the grass of Marina Green Park that is the same site as the post-race festival, which makes a lot of sense. However it was a bit more of a walk from parking, if that matters to anyone.
Add in a belated stop by the Sketchers Food Spot to wrap up the day. It's super affordable and even feels kind of like it's stylized after a Costco food court. Menu items are similar but different enough, with an emphasis on chicken sandwiches that was very un-Costco. Execution of the food was pretty decent considering how affordable everything is, yet pretty forgettable all things considered. The hot dog as an example was meaty and quality, like Costco, but the bun was dry and fell apart, quite unlike Costco. And the Nashville hot chicken sandwich, while not bad, was quite greasy and a definite step down from the better ones in Los Angeles (and probably three steps down from the best). Still, was fun to finally stop by and say I'd tried it.