Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Moon Shadow

I did it!  I witnessed Totality of the 2024 Solar Eclipse.
I didn't have a special filter so the photos are so so.

I know that some of you saw my IG story and wondered, what the heck?  I had a old friend message me and ask if I was expecting a severe weather event.  Another person texted my daughter and asked if I was okay.  

Here is the story:

I had reserved 2 hotel rooms in Lancaster, NH for Sunday and Monday at a cost of around $3,000.  As the time drew near my family was on the fence about going.  What if it rained, what if the traffic is horrific, what if....?    So I cancelled the rooms.  Later the same rooms were being offered for  $2,500 a night!

Around 4am on Sunday, I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep.  I listened to a NPR podcast story about an eclipse chaser.  After hearing his account of witnessing totality I decided I had to try and get there.

I studied the maps of the eclipse and decided to head to Burlington, VT.  I know the area because of the Vermont Quilt Festival.   I found an event at the Burlington Airport and actually bought a $100. ticket.  It guaranteed that I would have parking, a shuttle to the airfield where there would be food trucks, bands, drinks and facilities.

After further consideration, I decided it would be difficult to get out of the parking garage with everyone else, and did I really want to share the event with day drinkers and kids (who were free?)......hhhmmmm.   So it was an insurance ticket.

I set my sights on the Lowe's parking lot in South Burlington.  It was large and set back from Rt. 7 and there was even a burger King I could walk to.  Okay!

So I printed the directions (in case of cel interruption) and packed the car.
My intention was to be completely self sufficient; and I do mean completely.
Food, water, applique, cash, lawn chair, 2 quilts, pillow, chaise cusion, magazines, etc, etc.
The ride up was uneventful and I made good time.  There was still snow in Vermont.
A short video on my way.

I thought about going to to the Middlebury area, but the totality would only last 1 minute and 37 seconds.

  I would have over 3 minutes of totality in South Burlington.

Yay!  I have arrived and there is a large clean bathroom. The parking lot was good, but there was a frontage road on the other side of those trees.
I walked over to the Burger King and had a hot lunch.
I moved over a frontage road and joined about 8 other cars.
I met people from Massachusettes, Deleware and even Brussels.  One man brought a telescope with a special filter and let us all take turns looking through it.

 I had planned to take a nap, but the long slow show of the eclipse had begun.
Here we go.

The moment of totality is so sudden and complete that it takes you quite by surprise when you're looking through the glasses.  Then you lower them and try to take it all in.
Street lights are on and it's pretty eeeerie.
The moment of totality is so sudden and complete that it takes you quite by surprise when you're looking through the glasses.  Then you lower them and try to take it all in.

Now let me say:  I know that I sound like a total wackadoo.  It is hard to describe why so many people, including professional newsmen, cry during an eclipse.  So I am in good company.
I am slightly more composed in this next video.  We were near enough to Burlington to hear crowds of people cheering.   Our little group were all dabbing our eyes as we said our farewells.  What a life affirming event to share with like minded strangers. 
Our little group were all dabbing our eyes as we said our farewells.  What a life affirming event to share with like minded strangers. 

I left the area within about 5 minutes of the end of totality and it took me over 7 hours to get home.  There were cars as far as the eye could see.  There were so many cars, in fact, that peopled lined the overpasses to watch us.
It was a great migration.

I am very grateful I had this unique experience.  Tuesday I spent the day mostly like Nutmeg.
No matter where you were, I hope you had a great eclipse experience too!


julieQ said...

HI Barb,

We were luckily livein the area of totality. I too was emotional and so in awe of the street lights coming on, and the stars coming out...and that aurora!!! Amazing, all!

julieQ said...

Lucky to live in!! Goodness!!!

Rose Marie said...

We had about 90% totality and it was such a joy to see. Glad you got to experience it.

Julierose said...

We had a 92% eclipse to view here--but the clouds filtered everything a lot...
Nice that you got to see it after all your prep...thanks for sharing
hugs, Julierose

Lori said...

I loved being in totality in 2017 right here in my town! I admit to NOT crying, but had a fun and memorable time!
Glad you got to see it!!

Nann said...

Good for you! And now that you haven't spent $3000 on those hotel rooms you have $3000 to spend on something else. LOL.

rondiquilts said...

I spy TP! hee-hee! I couldn't love this more. Love, love, love ! We didn't have totality here, 95%. I drove into town to gather with others since husband was at work. I met a young mother and her daughter who got to the park after all the glasses had been given out. So I offered to share my glasses and the 3 of us sat there together. It will be a sweet remembrance.
On the Friday before the eclipse in Lexington we crossed paths with a couple from France. They had come for the eclipse. Whoa! They were spending a couple days in Lexington then driving further west in Ky for the totality. Kinda made us feel like slackers not to travel a few miles down the road for totality. But I'm glad you did and documented it for us!

Anonymous said...

We had about 20 seconds of totality here. We were in our backyard. Such an amazing experience! Our motion lights at the back of the house came on. Traffic was horrendous around here with lots of people driving to be in the totality area. I’m glad we were just in our backyard and not in a traffic jam. Great pictures and videos. Gail at the cozy quilter.

Anonymous said...

An experience of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing how it felt.

Anonymous said...

You are hysterical! Love it! Moment in time!

Jocelyn said...

What an adventure! I was in Ohio in 2017 and was able to see the total there. Not so much in FL this time.

loraine everard said...

Thanks for sharing that with us, Barb, what an experience!

Barbara said...

What fun to read about your eclipse experience! Good for you for making the trek to Burlington! I got teary-eyed, too, even though I missed the totality part! Can you believe it?? We even had a great view from our deck!

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

I love this so much! What a road trip and memorable experience! Thank you for sharing!

Yvonne said...

Here in the Netherlands we watched it on the news. It must have been so cool to be there live!.
Good for you that you went and enjoy this special moment

liz said...

Thant was wonderful to watch
Thank you for sharing

Janet O. said...

I don't know how I missed this. So many memories flooded back as I read your account. I don't know if you recall that hubby and I drove 4 hours and car camped in a church parking lot to be in place for the 2017 eclipse. I totally get the emotion, and the camaraderie with like-minded attendees. For us, there was a reverent hush after the initial cheers when totality occurred. I am getting chills just remembering. We had always planned on traveling farther to attend this year's eclipse, but it has turned out to be a busy year of travel, and we just didn't feel we could heap another trip onto the three we already have--and another one early next year. But I am so happy for you to have experienced it. And I am glad you felt it deeply.