Thank you for sending along eyewitness accounts from the eclipse path.
Thoughtful reader Jack writes:
What surprised me most was the sheer, utter, beauty of the eclipse. I have always enjoyed partial eclipses in the past and encouraged others to observe them, but this was my first total eclipse which we observed near Malheur Reservoir, Oregon. Everyone says how awesome they are, which is true, but the beauty was what impressed me most. We watched through my 10″ telescope with a solar filter, and then took turns with it off during totality. Three images are burned into my brain: the first naked-eye look at the full eclipse and corona, the astonishing bright pink flares shooting from the surface of the sun (through the telescope), and the brightening edge of the sun just coming out from behind the moon when I had to avert my eyes from the eyepiece. We had about 2m.8s. of totality, and it was over too soon!
1 Cor 15:40 says: “There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” There are many beautiful things here on earth, flowers, trees, waterfalls, mountains, creatures great and small, and the heavens are full of wonder with stars, planets, galaxies and more. But seeing this eclipse defined for me a whole new category of beauty.
Yes, it was all too brief before we had to start warning kids, “Glasses back on!”
Just returned from viewing my first total solar eclipse! We were just south of Rexburg, Idaho, due west of the majestic Grant Teton Mountains and at the maximum point of totality for that longitude.
Several news stories in the preceding week had predicted a partly cloudy day, but every day leading up to the eclipse was perfectly clear, so we held our collective breath. Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon the clouds started to roll in and I feared that we (and tens of thousands of other trekkers) would be sorely disappointed after making so much effort to be there.
Gratefully we were blessed, as Monday dawned bright and clear, and we had gorgeous weather with cloudless skies throughout the day.
What an amazing experience to witness the total eclipse and to participate in that display of natural awe and beauty!
The day was marred only by the horrendous traffic heading south after the eclipse. It took us 5 1/2 hours to make the 70-mile drive to Pocatello, at which point the traffic finally eased. But we would gladly suffer the traffic again to see such a marvelous display.
I feel blessed to have been able to be there for the eclipse and to also see so many others, including many young people, partaking in this wonderful event.
Ditto about the traffic, Eric. Julie adds:
I viewed the eclipse yesterday with my family on a farm in Tennessee with hundreds of other people. In an effort to avoid heavy traffic we, and most of the other several hundred people arrived at the farm nearly three hours early to sit in the sweltering heat and wait. At the moment totality began a loud cheer went up from the crowd. It struck me that likely a large number of those people would claim this celestial event just happened. But it seems to me hundreds of people willing to endure the traffic and the heat who are still moved to loud cheering when the moon slips in front of the sun are cheering for the one who designed such a precisely run and magnificent universe whether they will admit it or not.
It struck me that effort in preparing for the eclipse, getting there and back, energy expended in learning about its meaning, investigating safe viewing techniques, lugging telescopes and filters, and the like, may be proportional to how much we get out of an event like this.
In that respect, it’s a lot like life. Seeing it on TV can more readily be dismissed as no big deal, a pretty coincidence.