I live in a beautiful place.

Every year, people travel from all over the country, and around the globe to come visit my little corner of the world. Right now, there is this amazing event going on that gets press coverage every year, and attracts so much visitation that they have to close off one lane of the road to provide supplementary parking for everyone that comes.

Photographers line up shoulder to shoulder with their expensive camera equipment. Multi-thousand dollar lenses attached to multi-thousand dollar camera bodies perched atop multi-hundred dollar (maybe more?) tripods to capture the image. That one image from that one place (actually a couple of discrete places) that everyone captures every year.

I remember the thrill of the first time I witnessed the event. VIP and I were driving along, came around the corner and our jaws fell open. We pulled into the nearest (empty) parking space – no traffic control, lane closures back then – and proceeded to gawk. Truly phenomenal.

Is it the same now that you have to queue up hours and hours in advance to get a clean line of sight?

I suppose it’s different, but equally wonderful. It’s transformed from a natural experience into a social one. You plan weeks, maybe months in advance, bring your camp chairs to the popular spots and coolers and swap stories with the people around you. Is this your first time? How was it yesterday? Last year? What size lens are you using? What settings?

I haven’t been down to see it in years.