Monday, May 16, 2011
And I was there. What a great adventure. Rene' and I left home this morning before 7:00 AM for the hour plus drive to the coast. Then she paid $20.00 to park about three blocks away from Launch View Park, not sure if that is the official title of the place, but it was crowded to say the least. We stood there for 5 minutes or so trying to see "what" we did not know, since we had no idea in what direction to look or what we were suppose to look for. From that vantage point I certainly couldn't see anything that looked like a tower with a rocket attached and a shuttle piggy back to it.
From the park we could see people ( a large amount of people) standing on a bridge about 1/2 mile away so Rene and I decided to walk to there and I am so glad we did. Where we first decided to stand on the bridge our view wasn't much better than in the park. I still could not make out what could be the shuttle so we walked further up the bridge, which by the way was closed to auto traffic.
We came to stand not to far from the crest of the bridge and asked a man with an impressive camera on a tripod and looked like he knew what he was doing where should we be looking. Bless his heart, he pointed us in the right direction. Ahhh yes... there it was. tower, rocket and shuttle. But sooooo far away. Would my camera on maximun zoom capture it? I hoped so.
As time grew closer it was getting more and more cloudy, overcast and windy. For a time we thought they would call it off. Not that getting there was that much of a hassel, but I didn't know if they had cancelled the launch again today if I would go back again.
At two minutes, the people in the crowd with radios, turned them up so we could hear the count down. A man standing close to us knowing we were first timers said, look for the plume of steam, then WOW!!!!!!
I took three shot in a row praying I got good images then I had to see it with my own eyes so I stopped shooting.
WOW... WOW... WOW!
We stood there long after it had disappeared into the cloud cover waiting for the sound they said would come. Then it did. It was not as loud as I had imagined it would be. Not like a boom, but more of a rumble, WOW!!!!
Seeing a shuttle launch was never on my bucket list, but I am soooooo glad I got to see one in person. I just might go back to see the next and last one too.