Run to the Sun

We have a total eclipse coming up on April 8th, and here’s my pitch—if there is any way you can travel to a location that’s in the path of the total eclipse, do it. I know, I know, if you are reading this it’s barely a week away. Not much time for planning or finding a hotel, but if you can pull it off, it’s one of the most amazing sights you will ever see.
The last total solar eclipse in the US was on August 21st, 2017 and I traveled to a small town in Georgia northeast of Savannah to see what all the fuss was about. The night before we had stayed at the iconic Thunderbird Motor Inn in Florence South Carolina, and in the morning headed deeper into the total eclipse zone. 
We intentionally picked a fairly remote area, and we drove around for a few hours looking for the perfect spot. My expectations were fairly low, I should have paid more attention in my science classes, but I thought I was just going to just see the novelty of a few minutes of nighttime arriving mat day. The weather forecast was partly cloudy, so the few eclipses we ran into were nervously scanning the sky and speculating that things would clear up before the big event.
About thirty minutes before show time, we saw a sign marking a levee down a remote road, so we headed in that direction. The locals started to arrive, parked their cars, and hiked to the top of the levee which gave a 360-degree view of miles of countryside. As if on cue, the clouds parted and we had a great unobstructed view. Miles away you could see poor Savannah, our original destination thwarted by a lack of available rooms, getting pounded by a massive thunderstorm. 
As the moon moved closer to totality, the sky changed to a dark blue twilight and stars began to come out. What I wasn’t prepared for was the moment of totality. As the moon blocks out the sun, the edges roll and flash with a breathtaking aurora. Everyone in the crowd either gasped, laughed, or “Holy S**tted” themselves. It was spectacular. 
So if you can, plan a road trip and check it out while you can. Nasa’s website has an interactive path program that tells you where, when, and how long a total eclipse will take place in any given area.
It’s hopefully not your last chance, but the next eclipse that can be viewed in the US will be in 2044. If you do go, make sure you have a pair of eclipse glasses, available online for around $15, or pick up a welding filter plate (the replaceable 2 x 5 inch light protecting plate on a welding mask) for around $8.00.

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