The moment of totality is profoundly transcendent. Amidst the stars and planets, hemmed in by a 360° sunset, is a vision of the sun, in profile. Trust me, I have seen many pictures and videos before. I'll post many myself of what has been dubbed the "Great American Eclipse." But neither a thousand words nor a picture can truly do justice to the emotional immersion into a world, like our own, but seen in a completely alien light.
Before he adopted the pen name Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens grew up in Hannibal, Missouri—the template for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin's hometown. Today, the quiet town perched by the Mississippi is filled with callouts to Mark Twain and his famous creations. You can tour his home and learn about his complex relationship with the morals of his environment and the values he adopted later in life. In every quote, we are treated to the wit and wisdom of one of America's greatest storytellers.
On January 21, 1972, DC comics declared the fictional town of Metropolis to be the "Hometown of Superman." On June 9, 1972, the state of Illinois declared the very real town of Metropolis, Illinois to be the "Hometown of Superman." What followed was the inevitable scheduling of Superman themed events, attractions, and a very large statue in the town square.
Clarksdale, Mississippi is home to many blues landmarks, but most notoriously, a site of a Satanic Pact.
Seven miles east of Marfa, surreal lights attributed to UFOs, will-o-the-wisps, or the reflections of car lights and camp fires have been sited along a portion of the desert often between 2 and 3 AM. So, people camp out at a conveniently located rest stop, hoping to have their own illuminating experience.
There is something about old ghost towns that attracts oddities. Last year, we stayed overnight in Bisbee, Arizona—an old mining town that was resurrected by a group of artists. Today, we took a pit stop at a neighboring town where all that is left is one street, Erie Street.