Is there still Solar Eclipse 2017 buzz going on in the interwebs? I’ve been offline the last few days, with the exception of social media, so I wasn’t sure if all the buzz had died down yet. If it has, please allow me to revive a little bit of that buzz today.
Was the solar eclipse visible from where you are? In my neck of the woods, the moon was expected to cover 97.3% of the the sun. It was just over an hour drive for me to be somewhere that would have a better percentage of coverage. My initial thought was to go to one of the neighboring state parks. All the state parks that had totality were seemingly pretty packed from what research I did online. Paris Landing State Park was the best I thought we could do. They were expecting 14 seconds of totality, and it was just over an hour away.
The Friday before eclipse, plans changed. I have seen a solar eclipse in my life a time or two through pinhole viewers, and to tell you the truth, they didn’t impress me that much. They also weren’t ever total eclipses, obviously. As of early the week before the eclipse, I was fine if the forecast ended up calling for rain on the 21st, what was the big deal anyway? What did I know? It was a big deal, and I didn’t know really what to expect until the Thursday and Friday before when the ‘What to Expect During the Eclipse’ posts started flooding my Facebook feed. Is that really what is going to happen? Was all I could think about now. I was intrigued, and how could we not go a little further to were totality lasted more than 14 seconds?
I don’t like being around masses of people, and even more I don’t like traffic. I was looking at small towns and Murray, Kentucky had 100% coverage, but not enough time to see totality as it was right on the edge of the viewing line. I scrolled up through google maps just a bit further and found Benton, KY, which was a straight line up from Murray, all of which were basically straight north from me. One hour and fifty five minutes of driving time would have us where totality was going to last for just over 2 minutes. All my friends that could and wanted to come were on board. (I am still bummed that my guy couldn’t have gotten away from work for the day, but he had a nice roof-top view from work of almost totality [96.6%]. My boy and I filled him in on all that he missed.)
We left at 7am and arrived at about 9am. I found a county park the night before when looking into the city/town we were heading to, and thought that it would be a better place at which to pass the time than my original thought of the Walmart parking lot. Really, I didn’t know what to expect and the surrounding areas were calling for thousands and thousands of people: Paducah, Land Between the Lakes, and Hopkinsville. I kept waiting to hit bumper to bumper traffic, but guess what? Hardly anyone was at the Mike Miller County Park just out of Benton, KY. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and there was no excessive amount of traffic anywhere.
The eclipse, to say it was amazing is probably not a good enough adjective. When it started, it took me a few moments to overcome my internal anxiety of staring up at the sun, because in the back of my head all I could think about were faulty/counterfeit eclipse glasses and all those eye floaters I already have. Was this pair really from a reputable manufacturer? (Hi, I am Erika, and I can at times be an over thinker.) After that passed, with the help of my guy’s voice in my head telling me to just chillax and enjoy the moment, I was in awe. The first noticeable thing that happened close to totality was the strangely eerie color everything was turning – a grayish blue hue – and it was slowly darkening more and more.
Then the temperature started getting cooler, it wasn’t hot anymore. We heard crickets. A flock of birds flew across the sky, and then someone spotted a planet.
In seconds it was getting darker and darker – nighttime dark – and then we saw it: the total eclipse of the sun. I was amazed!
The children were too, and they all couldn’t get over how dark it got or how the sun looked. A once in a lifetime experience for sure. So glad those Facebook posts showed up in my feed that week, and I am so glad to have been able to have been there. I told my boy to think about what happened when we were on our way home. I wanted him really take it in; he told me not to worry, that wasn’t something he would ever forget. Me either.
I did miss one thing that I had wanted to see, but didn’t realize until that night when I was looking at Instagram posts people had from the day. I was so looking forward to those eclipse shadows, but everything else stole that thought from my mind at the time.
Who else saw the solar eclipse? From where did you see it? Did you travel to get there? If so, and you can, in one word tell me what you thought. I’d love to hear from you all on this one. Thanks for reading. 🙂