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Old 08-22-2017, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default The Great Eclipse Trip Report

Well, the Great American Eclipse of 2017 has come and gone into the history books, leaving pleasant feelings and clogged interstates in its wake.

Marv and I got to see it happen here at Lake Hartwell State Park.

The heat and humidity were pretty fierce, with the campers a/c and trips into town bringing some relief. This morning the weather station reported 74 degrees and 98% humidity at 7:30 am.

We are staying put today, Tuesday, to avoid traffic and will get out of here early Wednesday morning before the temps get up too high. Monday night I wanted to venture out to a local Dollar General to restock on Gatorade. Got to the park entrance and saw the traffic on SC 11 and just turned around and went back into the park.

Have nothing much planned for today, which is like most of the trip. Planned nothing and executed it flawlessly. We'll pack up a few things this evening and escape early tomorrow in the cooler time of the morning.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:58 PM   #2
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As to the eclipse event itself:

1. The sky directly overhead turned very dark blue, one or two stars visible at totality.
2. We saw the diamond ring effect as the totality came and went.
3. We saw the 360 deg sunset effect
4. It seemed the temperature did drop some, by the time of totality the temps were much more bearable than earlier in the afternoon.

I promised myself I would not spend a lot of time trying to photograph the totality. From what I read, it's near impossible to get a decent photograph without expensive gear and expertise I do not have. But as the new, expensive camera was making video of the changing sky (about 6 minutes worth, sans sun) I had my 10 year old $225 Fujica Digital in my hand and I thought, why not? If it won't hurt your eyes, it won't hurt the camera, right? So I zoomed all the way out and squeezed off 4 handheld frames. Then just stood there with Sweet Wife on the muddy bank of Lake Hartwell and took it all in.

All the hype-sters out there were right about one thing, there is a big difference between 99% obscuration and totality. That 1% is 1% of the sun and is very bright. Totality is dark.

The difference is like night and day.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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We went to Wheatland, WY to see the eclipse, just inside the totality zone, had 1 min and 3 sec of totality.
Left at 4 AM and the roads were already solid northbound, running below speed limit. Incredible mass of cars.
Awesome can't describe the eclipse, truly a once in a lifetime experience.
we left appx 30 seconds after the sun reappeared, there was only one route home for the several hundred thousand people that drove up from Colorado, I-25. We were at the head of the pack and made it back almost without delay.
there were reports of many hours of delay later on in the afternoon.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:59 AM   #4
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We had a good time camped next to Wade and Kathy. Like Wade said it was HOT and humid. Temps in the mid 90's. I didn't spend much time sitting in the sun to watch the eclipse, just in and out of it until the sun was over half covered then the heat wasn't quite so bad. DW was saying it was not big deal until just before totality, then she said WOW this is really neat. It was fairly light until just before totality and then the darkness was sudden. The atmosphere must have cooled because clouds that were floating around just disappeared when the sun was covered up and then reappeared when the sun came back from behind the moon. I didn't notice a big temp drop although a cooler air was felt. It was an enjoyable event, the next one goes through Texas and to the NE in 7 years. We left the park on Wednesday and traffic was normal then but I-85 was jam packed on Tuesday and SC Hwy 11 outside the park was bumper to bumper.
I took a HF rig along but never got it out of the truck since it temp was not very compfortable.
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