We live just out of the path of totality, so a short road trip was in order to see this one. I am infinitely glad we did! Sometimes my discomfort around others keeps me from doing things, but it’s nearly always worth it when I make the effort.
This time, we camped in the path, at a place that has a swimming beach on a lake. We were able to watch the whole thing while floating in the water. The next one, I hope to be on a hilltop. I want to see more of the horizon. But for the 2 and a half minutes we had this time, seeing the event itself was amazing enough.
If you missed the 2017 event, start planning for 2024! The 2024 one will be in early April, seriously, don’t miss it. I will be 71 when the one after that crosses the US. I plan to be in Disney World to see it. hahaha! Calamity assured me they would check me out of the nursing home for the day and get me to a vantage point as it will pass through Alabama. Theory agreed. THANKS! I’m going to Disney World.
I won’t go into all the science because it’s after the eclipse now and all of that will be done again and even better by people dedicated to that sort of thing before the next one comes around. But I will list a few highlights to keep in mind that made watching even cooler in hopes that
Check shadows. Before and after the totality, anywhere light filters through will take on a crescent shape. Also look at your arm hairs just before and after totality. The light quality is such that it’s worth checking out anything tiny like that and arm hairs are pretty easy to nab a peek at without bringing along something. Be sure to look ahead of time to see what planets will be visible as it may be the only time you get to see them for decades. It’s safe to take off eclipse glasses DURING the totality. Take in the horizon, it will be ‘sunset’ 360 degrees.
As the shadow slides over the sun, the totality is breathtaking-much like seeing spectacular fireworks in a crowd and everyone oohs and ahhs in involuntary unison-seeing the eclipse evokes screams and cheers and even tears. It’s more emotional than expected, everyone I spoke with afterward seemed as overwhelmed by their response as they were the sheer beauty of the event.
And it is beautiful. The sky is not black like so many photos show, but indigo. The sun is a black circle with rays poking out around the edges. It feels like getting a peek at another planet’s skyscape, there’s just no real way to describe it other than ‘totally worth it’ to get into the path.
Side note-I looked for eclipse quotes to end this post and they were mostly from the book. So instead I’ll just end with this plea. Seriously, get out the map and start looking for where you want to be for the next one. Then get there with as many friends and family as possible because it’s an event, one everyone should experience.