August is here, and I’ve been looking forward to this particular August for several years now. It’s finally my chance to scratch something off my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to experience a solar eclipse for myself, and see it with my own eyes. I’ve come close a couple of times. There was a partial eclipse in 1979 that I watched from New Orleans wearing welder’s goggles (not advisable) and a near-total eclipse in Minneapolis back in 1995. I didn’t have the equipment to view that one, but the clear blue sky darkened noticeably at its peak. It turned purple.
On August 21, a total eclipse will sweep across the United States mainland, from Oregon to South Carolina.
This time I want to see the moon totally eclipse the sun. That’s going to take some travel… and a little bit of luck. The nearest place to see totality is St. Joseph, Missouri, which is about a six hour drive. Just about everybody is going to be there, but Jim and I had the foresight to book a motel room months in advance. I’ve also stocked up on all the equipment we’ll need: solar glasses, solar binoculars, and a solar filter for my camera. Now all we need is a little luck in the weather department. It’d suck if it rains that day.