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View another solar eclipse trip report by DDF member shayaj here. Some of his pictures appear in this trip report.
The big event of last summer was the total solar eclipse, which would cross over the entire country from sea to shining sea for the first time in 99 years.
It was the first total solar eclipse viewable from the US48 in my lifetime, so I knew that we had to go see it with our own eyes.
My in-laws live in Overland Park, Kansas, so we didn’t have to think too hard about where to see the eclipse or about overpaying for hotel accommodations near the eclipse.
For a tiny Jewish community, Overland Park has more than its share of kosher food options. We went to eat at the local Hen House grocery store, which has very good sushi, ribs, and burnt ends as well as some of the best kosher fried chicken you’ll find the world!
Sporting goods store Scheels flagship store is in Overland Park and it is just incredible! We spent hours here with the kids and they didn’t want to leave.
And that’s only a fraction of the things to do in the 222,000 square foot mega-store. This is the kind of store that should be able to survive in a world of retail dominated by Amazon. It’s a really fun experience that will draw people off of their couch.
We didn’t make it on this trip, but I’d be remiss ot to mention the Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park:
On Sunday evening we met up with Moishe Hersko, better known as “Something Fishy” on DDF, as well as other several other DDFers. I went to the far north with him in 2016 on a Photo DO and he was in the area with several photo DO participants for the total eclipse as well. Later this year we’ll head out to Antarctica together.
The biggest risk of flying somewhere to see a total eclipse is the weather and it sure didn’t look good. Overland Park would only get to 99% of a total eclipse, but that last 1% makes all the difference. Only when the sun is 100% eclipsed can you take your solar glasses off and see one of the rarest sights in existence, the sun’s corona.
We originally planned to drive to nearby S. Joseph to see the total eclipse, but the forecast there did not look good.
While Moishe and my father-in-law were experimenting with a pinhole camera to view the eclipse with:
I was working on finding which cities in the center of the eclipse belt had a halfway decent forecast:
We settled on Boonville, MO, located a couple of hours drive to the east of us. The forecast there was overcast as well, but it seemed like there might be clear skies there.
In Overland Park on Monday it was rainy and not promising, but we hit the road and started driving to Boonville. We weren’t the only ones with that idea and the freeways were jammed, but luckily Waze knew the side streets to take and we avoided a lot of the traffic, though it still took several hours to drive there.
It rained for nearly the entire way and it sure seemed like our long drive would be pointless.
A DDF member took this video of how bleak our chances looked during the drive:
Luckily the skies finally cleared as we approached Boonville.
Boonville is a small little town in Missouri that probably had never seen this many people before. There were people selling parking spots and I’m pretty sure that had to be the first time in history that anyone paid for parking in Boonville!
We setup shop at Franklin Island Access on the bank of the Missouri river:
The total solar eclipse was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The skies started darkening, but it wasn’t the same light as sunset. It was an eerie light that I had never seen before. The temperature plummeted from 90 to 60 degrees and crickets started chirping loudly while the rest of the day’s noises and the wind stopped suddenly. We had to make sure that our kids kept their eclipse glasses on until the moon finally blocked out the sun completely.
Nighttime during the day:
It became even darker outside with the only light provided by the sun’s beautiful corona. The entire crowd gasped as that happened. This is a sight that can’t possibly be properly conveyed with words or with pictures, it’s something that everyone has to experience for themselves. Seeing a 99% eclipse is like seeing nothing compared to the 100% eclipse.
I can totally understand why people fly around the world to see total solar eclipses. It’s truly an electrifying and mesmerizing sight. I took a break from snapping pictures and just enjoyed the moment with my family as we look up at the stunning show in the sky.
#eclipse2017 Photo credit @morrishersko of @bhphoto You are always in for a treat, a laugh, and amazing pictures when you’re on a Photo DO with @morrishersko, aka Something Fishy on the DansDeals Forums Together we’ve grilled steaks during a polar vortex, went dogsledding and snowmobiling near the North Pole, and chased down the northern lights in Lofoten, but the solar eclipse experience we had in Missouri is something I’ll never forget. Truly an awe inspiring moment.
I sure miss the days of the Continental hub in Cleveland when we could fly nonstop to Kansas City, but at least we were able to enjoy a delicious Milt’s Burger and Rib Sandwich thanks to an Uber delivery to the airport:
On 4/8/2024, weather and G-d permitting, I’ll be able to watch a total solar eclipse right from my backyard. I’m already excited just thinking about it 😀
Have you seen a total solar eclipse? Share your experience in the comments!