August 21, 2017 Total Eclipse
Planning for the Eclipse
We planned for the eclipse trip months in advance. We did a lot of research on cloud maps, trying to predict where it was most likely to have clear skies, taking into consideration the haze due to the wildfires going on, and also where we thought it may not be so crowded. While researching, we found an expensive parking space in a field in Rexburg, Idaho. As introverts, crowded places are not something that we find fun, so we tried to plan where we thought may not be so crowded. After we had booked the field, the news started reporting that even Rexburg was going to double or triple its population that weekend. Oh well, we had to just wait and see.
Getting to Rexburg, Idaho
When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised! The field was huge and most of the RVers and campers were clustered in the back. When we got to registration, they told us we could choose any campsite. So, Spencer chose a corner site in the very front edge of the field, away from the cluster of campers. Lol!
My mom traveled up from Arizona in her RV to see it with us, so we faced the RV doors toward each other, put up our shade screens, and had a great private space. Now we just had to wait for the day of the eclipse. We had booked a total of 4 nights there, (thinking that this place was going to be packed like sardines) we also paid extra for the larger site, just to have a little more space.
We also brought a ton of food with us, because people kept saying it would be so crowded. It ended up being fine! We even ran to the grocery store and the streets weren’t busy at all.
Day of the Eclipse
The kids had a hard time sleeping the night before the eclipse; they were so excited and so were we. We had been a little worried in the weeks approaching the eclipse, because even with all of our research, they had predicted a cloudy day in Rexburg. However, as the week went on, the weather report looked better and better. The field had filled up a bit, there were a couple of campers in the row we were in and there were a few campers in the row behind us as well. But, we were grateful that it was not nearly as crowded as we had expected.
Finally, the moon took its first step in front of the sun. We all put on our Eclipse glasses and started watching.
As the moon covered more and more of the sun, we looked around and everything around us started to look dimmed. Like all the color was slowly being sucked out, that’s the best way I can describe how it looked. It almost felt like we were on a different planet.
Then finally, all we could see of the sun was a small sliver. We knew totality was close! We had laid a white bed sheet down because we had heard that the light sends out waves or “snakes” just before totality and Spencer yelled out “Look at the snakes!”. The light bends right before totality and on the white sheet there where snakes of light slithering across it. It was a neat thing to see.
All of a sudden it got dark, almost like someone flipped a switch. The temperature dropped, the air was much cooler. We all took off our eclipse glasses and looked around, it was like a sunset all the way around us in every direction. You could hear cheers and yelling from everyone in the field.
When we looked up, this is what we saw. I didn’t expect to cry, but, there were tears in my eyes. As I heard people around us cheering, I couldn’t help but cheer too. It was much more emotional than I thought it would be. I looked over and saw tears in most everyone’s eyes.
The eclipse lasted for a total of 2 minutes and 18 seconds where we were and it felt like a few seconds. I tried to snap as many pictures as I could and to make sure I looked around, but, I wanted it to last longer. I felt like there was just too much going on too quickly and I wanted it to slow down. We looked up and we saw the stars and planets that came out. We saw the Diamond Ring. Then, totality was over.
As soon as the sun peeked out from the moon, everything got bright again, in that same weird hue.
We watched again as the moon moved across the sun. We tracked the temperature dropping during the entire eclipse and it finally started to go up again, but, it took a while. It continued to drop after totality and didn’t start to go up until about half an hour after totality.
The other campers started tearing out of there. I think about half or more of the campers left that day. The field was nice and empty again. 🙂 We stayed until the day after the eclipse, then we made our way out with no plans of where to stay other than we were headed in the direction of Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Tips for the next eclipse
Thanks to Spencer, he figured out how to do a Night Time Handheld setting. It worked great for the entire eclipse and for totality!
This experience was so amazing, we may even become eclipse chasers. Lol! We think that next time we may have a stop motion going, a video camera, and have a few cameras with different settings. It was hard to get the solar filters on and off the camera. I didn’t want to mess with the lenses and the setting and then miss totality. I also wish I would have taken more photos of the kids watching before and after totality. An extra camera or two would have been helpful so that I could do that. All in all, I am glad that we made it out there to see our first Total Eclipse. It was even more amazing than I expected.
Next up: Sawtooth National Recreation Area