A couple of months ago, when I first started making plans to watch the eclipse, I noticed that totality would occur in southern Nebraska, barely a two hour drive up highway 81. In other words, straight north from home.
Well, a month later I saw a Kansas Eclipse t-shirt and thought, I live in Kansas, that’s where we should observe the eclipse.
So back to the maps, where I discovered the tiny town of Reserve, Kansas.
We drove up last week to scout the area, and confirm it was where we wanted to go to observe and participate in the festivities.
We spent the night before in Lawrence in order to assure we got there in plenty of time.
We had no idea how crowded it would be and the TV news the night before indicated that St. Joseph Missouri was NOT the place to be.
There was a definite increase in traffic compared to our previous trip, but not too heavy.
We couldn’t go to the spot we originally planned, so spent a good half hour trying to decide where to park.
The first couple of shots are from our first attempt, but in the end it wasn’t right, and the spot Sheryl spied turned out to be perfect!
There’s nothing really to say about the clouds.
No chance to photograph the sun during totality but it was still a moment to experience. It got dark and you could see sunlight all around the horizon, like sunrise and sunset at the same time. I did get one slightly blurry shot of the train parked on the tracks, showing the sun on the horizon.
The best two parts were the kiss I shared with Sheryl, and hearing the roar from the crowd in Reserve. Totality hit there (2-3 blocks south of us) a few seconds after our location, and their cheering carried up the road.
Got one more shot after totality, then we packed up for the long (4+ hours normally, 6 yesterday) drive home.
We got to highway 36 with no problems, but that was because we took Kestrel Road instead of highway 73.
A few miles down 36 traffic got all jammed up. Commence two hours of us going down county roads, some unmarked and one stretch unpaved, to go around the traffic. We did get to see the waning eclipse a couple of more times as well.
We didn’t save any time, but we got to see a bunch of pretty new country and spent no time stuck in traffic!
The last shot is just an example of the dramatic skies in Kansas, eclipse or no eclipse.