I've enjoyed reading the Leonid slice-o-life viewing experiences, and so
offer my own tale.
Although I generally wake a bit before dawn on Sundays to catch the morning
glass at Old Man's, I set my alarm especially early last Sunday. I planned
to get to the beach well before sunrise to enjoy the shower well away from
city lights--and maybe even out on my board. So at 4:30 am I stepped out in
the yard to see if the clouds were cooperating. Not bad. Like Hal, I live
in a coastal town that often gets morning fog. This time, though, only a few
high and scattered clouds, still well off to the south, blocked the view.
Even looking up through the comparatively narrow shute afforded by the houses
surrounding my backyard, I could see lines of light spitting and sputtering
My bungling about woke my wife, who joined me outside. For a panicked moment
we thought that the sliding glass door had locked behind us, but it turns out
that the lock didn't quite catch. We admired the show for a while and
discussed whether to wake our daughter. Figuring that she was too young to
appreciate the phenomena and not at all too old to catch a good show later in
life, we let her doze.
I'd already prepared all my gear the night before, so I downed some coffee
and hit the road. I joined a short line of vehicles waiting at the gate of
the state surfing beach, killed the engine, and opened the sunroof.
Unfortunately, though, some high cloud cover had drifted in and begun
brightening in the dawn, effectively blocking out the view. But I can't
complain. Once the gates opened at 6 am and I'd parked on the beach, I found
a light offshore breeze and a good swell coming in. As we say in the local
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