Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2017

Traveling to see Monday’s eclipse

By Bob Hunerdosse | Aug 24, 2017

To the editor:

My grandfather witnessed the 1918 solar eclipse and told about the chickens going to roost during the day, and I always thought that was amazing. About 10 years ago, I got on the internet to see if I would be able to see a solar eclipse in my lifetime. August 21, 2017, popped up on the screen, so I circled that date and put it on my bucket list.

I chose to go to Carrollton, Missouri, because I was vaguely familiar with the area. I had taken a road map of Missouri that I had marked up showing the path of totality not knowing that it would help keep me in the total eclipse path. We left Fairfield with a cloud cover so I was checking the weather satellite to see where the cloud cover was on the way down. Carrollton checked out OK early on. When we left highway 63 to go west at Moberly, Missouri, I pulled over to check the satellite again. A storm that had been in Kansas had moved into western Missouri.

Decision time. Do I go south and east to Fulton, Missouri, and hope the storm does not catch us or drive west and try to get on the other side of the storm? We decided to go west. As we approached Carrollton we had rain and several cars heading east. At Carrollton we decided to take highway 10 to Richmond, Missouri, and head north on Highway 13. When we got to Richmond at 12:10, the skies were clearing up to the south so we decided to head south.

Before we left Richmond, we stopped at Walmart to use the bathroom and when we came out several people had stopped at the parking lot to watch the eclipse, so we stayed put.

Occasionally, a cloud would cover the moon and the sun briefly, but we were rewarded with our effort and got to see the total eclipse. Would I go again? You betcha. That was a spectacular show. I am already making plans for April 2024.

On the way back, we met people who had watched it from Columbia, Missouri, and they had a clear sky. So if we had headed for Fulton, Missouri, we would have seen the show without all the drama of driving through that storm.

 

– Bob Hunerdosse, Fairfield

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