We made it to the lake and all the kids decided it was time to get in the lake.
|Yes, Skylar played in the sand and water with her cast and no, it is not water resistant.|
|But she did very well keeping it dry and only a little sand got inside.|
After a few hours in the sun and sand, everyone returned to the campsite to cool down in the shade.
We had the beach pretty much to ourselves. We cooked hot dogs, ran around chasing kids and frogs and finally went to bed at sundown.
During the late evening and even overnight we had many many people show up and camp around us. We even had a car get stuck in the sand in the middle of the night. Dad and the campers next to us helped get them out.
We woke up when the sun came up, immediately took down the tents, ate breakfast and headed out to Arthur, Nebraska to stake out our spot for the eclipse.
As we headed out, we spotted some turkeys...
and some sunflowers.
As you can see in the background, there was a lot of cloud cover and as we started driving away it even started to sprinkle a little. We hoped the closer we got to Arthur the clouds would clear.
But they didn't. We arrived in Arthur with no traffic problems by 8 AM. But there were a lot of clouds. We asked around and people felt like the clouds would burn off by 10 AM. We weren't taking any chances so we got back in the car and headed north. We hoped to find clearer skies before the eclipse started.
As it got closer and closer to the start time, we would stop and check the sun.
So we kept driving.
Finally, we decided to stop after 69 miles. The skies were beginning to clear, there were few people around and we wanted to stop and watch the eclipse.
We piled out of the cars
and set up our chairs. Look at the beautiful clear skies, the wide open field all around us.
As we were waiting, we also watched all the other people arrive, we had a visit from the farmer whose land we were on (please no smoking and clean up after yourselves), watched a lady do yoga in the middle of field, watched some people play volleyball and were visited by a family from Parker.
Then the eclipse started.
As the skies grew darker, the clouds increased, the temperature dropped and the winds picked up.
We were starting to worry about the clouds obscuring our view during totality but luckily, the clouds broke for the 2 minutes.
Starting to move off the sun.
I have a video to add but I need to edit out the end. It was put down still on recording.
We had watched so many videos and read so many articles, we thought we knew exactly what to expect. But experiencing a total solar eclipse is different. The temperatures drop a lot, we were pulling out jackets and towels to get warm. The winds increased too. Everyone around us was oohing and awing during totality. The 360 degree sunset was mesmerizing. We didn't know where to look - at the sun hidden behind the moon or around us at the sunset. We weren't in pitch black but it was a different light than we have ever experienced.
As the sun began to come back out, the world around us changed again. Skylar describes it as having someone shine a flashlight down on you.
It was sad when everyone around us started leaving immediately after totality. We stayed, had some lunch and continued to enjoy the eclipse lighting. We also got to see the cows arrive. There were no cows in the field around us while we were watching the eclipse but all of a sudden a hundred cows showed up all together out of nowhere. No one called them and there certainly wasn't any new food around. They hung out looking a little worried and then eventually wandered off.
After a bit, we packed up and headed down the road, it was time to return home. We decided to head into Alliance, Nebraska to see Carhenge since it was just down the road (20 miles) plus we needed to go that direction to get home.
There had been no traffic on Sunday driving into Nebraska. There was no traffic Monday morning going to the eclipse but all of a sudden in Alliance - we found the traffic. We didn't know but there was a large eclipse event at Carhenge and we got stuck in that traffic. We decided to skip Carhenge and just head home. The traffic going out of town was at a standstill. It took us 45 minutes to get from one end of town to the other and onto the highway. As we were sitting in the traffic, the GPS calculated we would be home at 5 PM (it was 1 PM).
It took us another hour and a half to go 24 miles. Then when it finally broke free so we could go the speed limit, the GPS calculated we would be home at 7 PM. We ran out of food on the way home so we had to stop in Sterling, Colorado to get a quick dinner and some gas to make it home. By then the GPS said we would be home by 9 PM. Even though we were driving, the GPS made us feel like we were standing still.
We finally made it home after driving for 8 hours, the 4 hour drive to the eclipse took 8 hours to return home.
But was it worth it?
Well, we are already planning our trip to see the next total solar eclipse in 2024. To make a very cliche statement - the eclipse was life changing. We won't miss another total solar eclipse in the US.
Is there much difference between 90% and totality? Well, let me ask this - Is there any difference between the beach and the desert?