The US Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

Last weekend I travelled down to Nashville, TN with my wife and good friends to observe a total solar eclipse. Nashville was in the PATH OF TOTALITY1. The last solar eclipse I can recall was when I was in elementary school. I viewed it through my dad’s welding mask. It was neat.

Entering Nashville. They Warned Us.
Entering Nashville. They Warned Us.

We spent the weekend in Nashville with some eats and some sights. I got legitimate Nashville hot chicken2 3 4, and then proceeded to hang out in 95º F playing mini golf. Poor decision on my part. I digress…

Am I the total eclipse of Erica's heart?
Am I the total eclipse of Erica’s heart?

We headed to a park just outside of Nashville to avoid crowds. The park itself had a pretty large audience, but there was plenty of space and parking for all5. I didn’t really prepare to take decent photos of the eclipse. I attempted to take photos through my eclipse glasses6 and they didn’t really pan out. However with some cloud cover I was able to capture some slivers of sol. Totality hid behind some clouds until it revealed itself to the hoots and hollers of the observing crowd.

I was elated to get this shot.
I was elated to get this shot.

The eclipse was other worldly. Photos are neat, but do not capture the true experience. I know some in Ohio were mildly impressed by their partial eclipse, and even if they had 90% coverage or more… 1 to 10 percent of the sun, is still ALOT of sun. As totality neared, it was like someone throwing on the dimmer switch of the sky, but when totality hit, it was truly amazing. It was like dusk came out of nowhere.

Day to Dusk within minutes.
Day to Dusk within minutes.

And then, it was over. The partial eclipse waned out of existence, and we were poised to head home in the early afternoon. It was warned there would be significant traffic7, however we did not anticipate the true impact the eclipse had. It looks us nearly 14 hours to head home.

Gridlock into Elizabethtown, KY
Gridlock into Elizabethtown, KY

We tried to work around it, taking back roads, but it wasn’t enough. The eclipse audience was nothing short than a small migration8. During our stay and travels we met/saw people from Indiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. As we approached midnight, and weren’t in Ohio yet we were beat. Rest stops were packed, and it was stop and go. We arrived home near 6 AM on Tuesday completely exhausted.

Would I do it again? Yes. 9

Also this post is brought to you by McDonalds, the official restaurant of the 2017 solar eclipse. 10 11 12

McDonalds, the official restaurant of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

  1. Seriously. if there isn’t a metal band named Path of Totality, someone needs to get on that. PATH OF TOTALITY 2017!!!! 
  2. XX-HOT, I got rep to maintain yo. 
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince%27s_Hot_Chicken_Shack 
  4. Legitichicken? 
  5. Kudos to the Goodlettsville parks department and police dept. for being so organized. 
  6. Purchase stock in eclipse glasses in early 2024. 
  7. See photo above. 
  8. Also, Elizabethtown, KY… get traffic situation figured out okay. We spent nearly 3-4 hours just trying to get through here. Probably more. 
  9. Good thing there’s another one coming in 2024. PATH OF TOTALITY is touring in OHIO! 
  10. How? How does this even happen? How is this a thing? Why is this a thing?! 
  11. Accept no substitutes. We only ate McDonalds our entire visit. 
  12. I wonder who they are going to get for the 2024 eclipse?