Totally overwhelmed by the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!

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These days, everything is subject to being overhyped – cars, diets, clothing, the next snowstorm.  When advertisers use words like “amazing”, “breathtaking”, and “life changing” we barely take notice.

But having traveled to Nebraska to witness the total solar eclipse, I can tell you that those words, in all their glory, are not strong enough to describe the experience!

Last Friday August 18th we began our eclipse road trip.  Seven us (me, my parents, husband, niece, teenage daughter and her friend) took two cars and headed to the tiny town of Mullen Nebraska, located in the totality. We booked our three rooms at the Sandhills Motel in Mullen A YEAR AGO.  The drive was gorgeous, through the sandhills, and we were delighted with the folks in Mullen and the small town’s events. We didn’t stay in Mullen for the eclipse however, as the weather forecast on the day of the eclipse warned of 70% cloud cover. So we hopped in our cars and drove west, following RVs and campers clearly headed the same way, out of the clouds and into the sun.  An hour later we turned off the little highway on to a dirt road that led to a park, and found a field with a few other cars parked on the edge. We unloaded, sat in the grass, and watched the spectacle unfold. Through the safety of our eclipse glasses we saw the black moon slowly eat into the golden sun, an amazing sight! But nothing compared to totality.

Everything you heard was TRUE! If anything, the hype was insufficient to do the actual event justice. The air temperature dropped 15 degrees, and a wind came up. The sky darkened to such a deep navy blue that Venus brightened the noontime “night”, and a ring of yellow and red (a shade I’ve never seen) surrounded us on all sides, like an oddly colored sunset. The cattle in a nearby field rushed toward their shelter, clearly thinking it was night. The crickets chirped… and in the sky, a white ring of flames and dancing ribbons shone down on us, eliciting whoops of joy and tears alike! We stood there, almost euphoric, for 1 minute and 34 seconds just breathing it all in, jumping up and down, and sharing the moment with family and the few others in a perfect field in Nebraska.

I cannot describe it to do it justice. Let’s just say we are already planning for 2024!!

 

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