As soon as I see what looks like the beginning of a dramatic sunset, I begin to estimate how quickly I can get from wherever I may be to one of the landing zones where I can stop and park the car. It seems to me that I have been doing this for enough years that I know where it is easy and safe to pull over. The views are frequently spectacular in places where I cannot stop, like on the bridge of Pearl Road that crosses highway 480 going east and west – one time when I saw no cars behind me I was seriously tempted to stop and whip out my camera, but my guardian angel won out with a quick thought, are you totally crazy?
It is a little more convenient when the sun sets later so I can get all the way to the top of the hill on Rockside Road just before the street descends into Valley View. There is a complex of businesses with plenty of parking and a traffic light making my departing left turn an easy job.
After a number of stops to get what is probably the waning of the blossoming trees I was completely awed by a streak of gold across the sky and while I was busy taking pictures of that view, a pocket of red-orange peeked from behind a great grey-blue cloud. Standing on a low grassy hill at the edge of the parking lot, I watched that patch open into a full round disk.
Cars were speeding up and down Rockside and I could see them tearing along over on 480 to my far right. So many people, so many cars, and this nothing short of miraculous drama unfolding in the sky before an audience of one. Where were they all speeding off to – what engagement could be so important that they would not stop to witness the production. My feet wouldn’t move and I was cold but I stood there for a half hour watching and when I closed my eyes, the ball of red-orange-yellow still glowed.