I Wanna See You Dance Again

One of the very few annual Pontiac rituals I observe is a long rural drive during the rise of the Harvest Moon while listening to Neil Young’s classic album of the same name. This usually occurs while I’m out on the Great Plains, where finding an unobstructed horizon and a cloudless sky is a virtual certainty.

But there’s no Pontiac road trip this year, and the car will be up for sale a few weeks from now. Leading up to the moonrise of September 9, I was skeptical of my chances for a successful Harvest Moon viewing experience here in Indiana. Over the decades, I have missed out on countless celestial events due to cloudy weather in the Great Lakes region. Would my very last Pontiac/Harvest Moon pairing be ruined by a gray sky? To my great surprise, the prairie weather came to visit me for a change; the scattered high clouds that were passing by earlier in the day had cleared out as evening approached…

Just as the sun went down—about five minutes before the Moon was due to arrive—I spotted a location with a fairly clear view of the eastern sky. And as it turned out, I did not end up watching the moonrise from my home state as expected. Rolling up State Line Road, I found a narrow gravel road leading off toward the wind farm on my right, and I parked the Pontiac about 100 yards into the state of Ohio. A couple of minutes later, I had the camera and tripod set up and ready to go. At the exact time and azimuth predicted by my MoonCalc app, the big orange globe cracked the horizon…

After shooting several frames of the Moon rising over Ohio’s corn and soybean fields, it was time to put on the music and make the long, circuitous journey homeward via lightly-traveled farm roads.

While the lonely roads, the beautiful sky and the sublime soundtrack did a great job of setting the mood, the evening was also enhanced by less-obvious elements, such as the reflection of moonlight on the pearl-colored vinyl of the Pontiac’s seats and boot cover…

As always, I made sure that the drive was long enough to listen to the entire album at least once. By the time I rolled the Pontiac into the garage for the night, more high clouds had arrived from the southeast, nicely illuminated by the Moon above…

Here’s 100 seconds of video from Friday night’s drive. Yes, shooting video at night with a cell phone rarely yields great results, but at least this will give you a little taste of the ride, complete with the sound of the wind and the music…

(If the video above does not display, follow this link to YouTube.)

I don’t know where I’ll be next September, or even what I’ll be driving by then. Whatever it is and wherever I am, I’ll find some way to enjoy each year’s Harvest Moon experience.


One thought on “I Wanna See You Dance Again

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