The sun slowly crept up over the horizon reflecting beautifully off of the glass like sheen of the Atlantic Ocean. Sea Gulls squawked loudly as they flew along the shore. Hues of pink and orange started to blend with blues as the world started to come into view. Just across the bay lied Cape Canaveral and the rocket launch pads that were utilized by Space X. There was a launch scheduled for the next day and I could hardly contain my excitement.
Having never seen a launch before, I had come a day early to make sure I was able to properly scout the location. I was pleased to see that the world was ready to put on its own show though. Ospreys started to soar across the sky, eager to catch their morning meal. I got lost in the rhythm of their dives as they plunged into the ocean from the sky, talons outstretched. Not far away, a group of dolphins started to play. The next thing I knew a Brown Pelican began to swoop around, gulping up buckets of water as it entered the water. It was breakfast time and the world was alive to eat.
That evening, I sat at a charger editing photos and trying to conceal my excitement for the next day. The majority of my friends had received text messages and I was talking off anyones ear that would listen. I had been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid and the euphoria of that inner child was erupting like a volcano that had been dormant for millennia. As I set my alarm, I checked the launch status one last time and was surprised to see that it had been delayed for 24 hours.
Not the end of the world. I reminded myself. There would be plenty for me to get done in the extra time I had to wait and I ended up spending the day at Merritt Island.
What a gift the delay ended up being. I told myself that evening as I relished in the new memories of hanging out with the migratory birds for the afternoon. My exuberance was short lived though as when I checked the launch again, it had been delayed another 48 hours.
This really put a wrench in my plans. The 2021 Presidential Inauguration was in two days and I had planned on getting as close as the National Guard would let me. I had a decision to make and it wasn’t going to be easy.
Knowing that there were going to be many more Space X launches but not another Inauguration like this, I bit the bullet and headed to Washington DC, disappointed that my dream had not come to fruition.
A few weeks later, I was in Asheville NC getting ready to hit the road on the next leg of my journey. The plan was to slowly go to Texas to try and see the SN10 Starship testing. As I was about to leave, I checked the Space X launch schedule, and saw that there were two launches in Florida in the next 40 hours! Quickly checking my navigation, I saw that if I left that moment and everything went to plan, I would make it to Titusville 20 min before the first launch in 12 hours.
I left immediately, confident that if I missed the first one, the following day I would be able to catch one so there should be no issues! About halfway through the trip, the second launch got pushed another four days. Man do these things get rescheduled a ton! I told myself I didn’t have a choice then. I simply had to make the launch at 1:20am the following morning.
At 1:10am, I pulled into Titusville to almost every parking spot taken and crowds along the shore. I had made it, I just needed to find parking before this thing went off! Luckily, I found a spot but only had 5 minutes left and I hurriedly got my camera and ran to get a shot. I had no time to prepare as the next thing I knew, a bright streak started to rise from pad in the distance. The rocket had launched.
As I stood in awe watching it fly, I couldn’t help but think about the amazing feat that we as humans have accomplished by reaching space. For the last 60 years, we have become almost numb to this. A minute later, as the sonic boom roared over the ocean and the spectators, I was eternally humbled by how far we have come as a species.
A week and a half later. I was sitting in Pensacola getting ready to finally leave Florida for Texas. There was a huge winter storm about to take over the midwest/south and rumor was that Texas was going to get hit hard. Not being sure if I should head directly into it, I checked the launch schedule and saw that the rocket that had gotten canceled previously, was finally launching that night and again, I had just enough time to make it.
I jumped at the excuse to stay away from the storm a bit longer and pulled up to the bay with a bit more time to prepare. This time I was going to go for the infamous “streak” shot one can get with a long exposure. I had never done a shot like this and was quite nervous about screwing it up.
After doing all that I could to prepare, the time had come and I hit the shutter as the launch commenced. For three minutes, I again watched in awe as thoughts about aliens and science fiction filled my head, dancing around my brain in a child like glee.
Then it was all over.
I check my camera and I had gotten the shot. It was magnificent. I could hardly contain myself.
Next stop, the SN10 launch, but I still had a winter storm to get through.
Closest Supercharger Titusville FL 3mi
3055 Columbia Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780
Kirk Point Park
S Washington Ave, Titusville, FL 32780