After careful consideration and a moderate amount of planning, we were off to Missouri (with our fingers crossed). The 2017 Great American Eclipse was the final destination, with several natural areas on deck in between. Goal #1 was to experience the greatest of celestial events first hand, but inevitably I spent more time looking at it through the viewfinder than I did with my own eyes.
Concern was thick in the air as a dense overcast spread down from the north. The eclipse had officially begun, but the clouds built until we could no longer see the sun... A patch of blue sky to the SE was enough to pack everything up and move 15km or so closer to the opening... Our solar glasses revealed the sun to be >50% covered! Thankfully the reduction in solar radiation resulted in decreasing cloud cover, and we enjoyed the awe-inspiring show through little more than a hazy humid sky.
Photos can't do it justice, and neither will my words. It is an event that must be experienced first hand! The temperature went from sweltering, to pleasant... The world went eerily quiet... Darkness came much swifter than I expected, as a sunset-esque glow appeared on the horizon. And as soon as totality was over, birds and bugs emerged as if it were the dawn.