The party was in full swing Sunday night up along the Ocoee River road. Bird was chopping wood wearing a blood-soaked sock from an earlier wood-chopping incident. Shawn from Auburn was strumming a new tune called “road head” and people kept trying to drain the last drop from the bottle of Booker’s bourbon. Although we were miles from the sea, or even a decent grocery store, the Raw Oyster Bar was doing a brisk business about thirty feet south of the fire.
I wandered out to the road for a breather, and the air was cold, cold, cold. Staring towards the eastern sky I identified Pleides, the constellation most known for having an 80’s video game named for it. Looking southward I noticed that kite-like constellation and at the left end of the kite stay was a large fuzzy star.
Now wait a minute, the tumblers started aligning and dropping, and I remembered something from the radio (public radio thank you very much) about a comet that inexplicably magnified itself a million times. They said it looked like a fuzzy star. The Comet Holmes.
You have to say it like Cheech Marin though, the Comet Holmes.
A small crew joined me in the road and we all got our comet watch on. A mix of laughter, stupor, and genuine awe- a bunch of good friends, celebrating the 17th annual Cheaha Trip beneath a bona fide astronomical miracle.
The Thunder Rock Express trail was waiting for us in the morning.
I’ll bet the only thing better than the comet sighting was getting back to that fire.
It took some people a while to sort it out, true.
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Sorry. Old-age related goof. What I wanted to say was that evening sounded like a real example of seasonal magic and thank you, Juancho, for sharing.