On Monday, August 21st, my wife and I drove to Clemson University to experience our first Total Eclipse, and it was awesome. We had been to Clemson previously when visited my wife’s great-niece who started there in 2015. The trip there was uneventful, and we made it to Clemson in less 2.5 hours. But Clemson was jammed packed with visitors for the eclipse. We met up with my wife’s niece who had driven down with her family for the eclipse and to see her daughter who is a junior at Clemson. Together we sat under a tree and awaited the start of the eclipse that afternoon.
As the start time of the eclipse grew near, the weather started to change and for awhile we thought we might end up with a cloudy day. But most of the clouds disappeared as the totality approached. Then totality was reached, and everyone took off their solar glasses and watched and experienced the phenomenon. I started to take pictures of the total eclipse. For two minutes, 37 seconds, we were in darkness, as the tree critters came alive, and parking lot lights came on. Although it was early afternoon, it was like looking up into the night sky, and we could make out the planets Saturn and Mercury above us - thanks to my wife’s niece who runs the observatory at her upstate New York university.
And just that quick, darkness disappeared as the sun peaked out from behind the moon’s shadow giving our surrounding the same reddish tint that was experienced just before totality was reached.
We stuck around for about an hour to visit with family, and allow some of the cars to leave. But traffic would be a nightmare all the way back to the Atlanta area. What took us about 2.5 hours to get there took over 6 hours to get back to home. It probably should have been expected because everyone arrived in Clemson over a 2-3 day period, but most of us were leaving shortly after the eclipse. A lesson learned.
- Written by Tom
- Category: General