(Sorta) Total Eclipse of the Sun

on Aug22

22 August 2017 | 8:35 pm

(Sorta) Total Eclipse of the Sun

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past 48-hours you know that the historic total solar eclipse finally made its debut in the U.S. for the first time in nearly 100 years. Yes, that means for most people this was the first solar eclipse they’d ever seen. Add my name to that roster! Because I ventured down Southern Illinois in attempt to see the full total eclipse from Carbondale.

We left the house around 5:30 a.m. giving us about 8 hours until the total eclipse. The GPS told us it would be about a 4 hours and 45 minute drive to get to our 290-mile location. Perfect, we thought. We should have PLENTY of time, right? Sadly we would find that almost 8 hours of driving would NOT be enough.

The roads were a little clogged on the highway out of the city, but I figured this was just due to normal morning commuter traffic. It died down a bit and it was smooth sailing for a good hour, but the weird thing was it seemed like no matter how long I drove, the estimated time was 4 hours and 45 minutes. I honestly believe I drove for about 2 hours with the navigation saying that number.

So with Carbondale always in the distance it was clear that by the time 1 p.m. rolled around and with us about 50 miles north of Carbondale we wouldn’t make it for the total eclipse set for 1:20 p.m. Making the most of it, we pulled off into a Wal-Mart parking lot in Mt. Vernon and prepared to see an almost total eclipse. We met a nice lady from a neighboring town that drove over to see the eclipse. There were employees of Wal-Mart taking their breaks to see the historic event.

Photo Credit: @harebear on IG

The skies were clear and everything was set for the event of the century! A shift when the moon covered the sun and went into partial darkness was epic. Because we were still 50 miles north of the total eclipse the sun still peaked out from behind the moon for us. It was a beautiful sight. Unlike anything I’ve seen. Like a crescent moon shaped sun. Bright and powerful the sun showed itself from behind the mighty moon.

Although it only lasted a couple of minutes and quickly the moon passed over to reveal less and less of an eclipse and although we had driven for nearly 8 hours already to get there, it was totally worth it. I don’t regret one bit driving down for this spectacle. It was awe inducing and a rare sight that was incredibly powerful to see in person.

It also worked out, because we beat the traffic coming back, so it only took us actual 4 hours and 30 minutes to get home.

What do you think? Did any of you see the eclipse? Comment your thoughts below.



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