2017 Total Solar Eclipse

The Path to Totality Sometimes Leads to a Grocery Store

This year I decided I wanted to see the solar eclipse at totality, seeing as it was going to be close enough to drive to. I had planned on going to Columbia Missouri, but as the date got closer the weather was forecasting rain and clouds. Paducah Kentucky was my second choice. Drove to that area the day before, and was planning on camping somewhere, there were many areas available. However, the weather was over 90 degrees and humid, so I tried some motels first. Even the fleabag ones were charging over $300 a room. So that was out. We called around and found a nice place in Tennessee called Piney Campground, really great site, people were really nice. The day of, Paducah had a forecast of partly cloudy, but Hopkinsville was to be mostly sunny, so headed there. On the outskirts of town, found a Food Lion grocery store where there were some people out on the grass with cameras and telescopes, so they were obviously friendly to observers. It was a prime viewing location and wasn't overrun by hundreds of people. Only bad part of the trip was the drive home, ended up being over 13 hours straight driving, instead of 9, because of eclipse traffic. Supposedly, over 100,000 people flocked to Hopkinsville from all over to watch the event. It was completely worth it however. The event was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, and I'm definitely going again when it comes nearby again in less than seven years.

Partial eclipse phases

Eclipse crescents projected through pine tree

Phases before totality

Totality begins

Ending of totality, Baily's Beads visible

Partial after totality

360 degree video of the eclipse