Eclipse at totality

On the Line in Ravenna

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5th wheel trailer
Our new rig at a Nebraska rest stop

We bought a new truck recently, quickly followed by a new camper. My husband and I have owned a camper most of our marriage; and this is our third. What we need as we are older is a bit different than what we needed and could afford when the kids were small. We just needed to be together then. Now, well, we’d like a shower, stove, and a toilet, if you know what I mean.

apricot standard poodle
While we’re waiting on the eclipse, you may adore me!

We live in a place where the eclipse last week was around 97% total, but we decided to drive to Nebraska where we could see it in totality. Our camper needed a shake-down cruise and it sounded fun!

dog in sun
Tribble quality tested the camper recliner for napping and claimed it as her own!

Most of the people around us drove to Wyoming, and there were massive traffic jams on the day of the eclipse.

dog in eclipse glasses
Jazz is ready!

We avoided all that by going a little further to Nebraska, where traffic was not an issue. It was a good call, in retrospect. After all, there was probably no other reason that we would have visited the lovely Ravenna, Nebraska, had it not been “on the line” for totality. They had a small state park where we sat up our camper and stayed the weekend.

dog in eclipse glasses
Garnet is trying to get in the mood but is way to smart to look at the sun with or without glasses.

In the morning before the eclipse, all of us campers were joined by many more people who drove up just for the eclipse. It was a slow event, really. It was almost like watching grass grow, except for the unmistakable tingle of anticipation. When I couldn’t see the sun anymore through my dorky glasses, everyone in the park cheered, and we joined in.

eclipse with thin clouds
Total eclipse, but the sun is still bright. I’m not sure what the other shapes are. Let me know in the comments if you have an idea!

I pulled off my protective glasses and took a few photos while it was safe.  It was considerably cooler and darker, which surprised me a little (why didn’t I expect that?). The eclipse was strangely exhilarating and exciting. I can’t explain it, but it was undeniable.

Total eclipse without a filter. Again, some shapes that I didn’t expect to see. Can you identify these?

I wished I’d had a chance to take pictures of the rolling green farmlands that were pretty in a relaxing, pastoral sort of way. There was no pretension in the small town, and I was slow to catch on to the large amount of drive-through traffic at the state park. I finally realized that the local folks were driving out to gawk at the tourists! They were kind and generous, though, offering us a free half-barrel fire-pit and firewood. The day before the eclipse, a young couple and their girls drove up in a Jeep decorated to resemble an ice cream truck. I might have thought we were dreaming, but the music was unmistakable. The wife handed out free ice cream, courtesy of a few local businesses. Their simple but welcome generosity impressed me. My husband was impressed by the polite highway drivers going the speed limit. Unbelievable!

eclipse near totality
Photo courtesy of Matthew Hadacek

It felt good to put our working lifestyle behind us for a few days and enjoy the wonder of the eclipse. I hope that you all had a chance to get a glimpse, even if you weren’t “on the line” of totality. With so many people focused on awe and wonder for a few moments, it was as if the weight of the world’s problems were briefly lifted.

Eclipse at totality
Photo courtesy of Matthew Hadacek

Thank you, Ravenna, Nebraska for making way for us out-of-towners to experience small-town hospitality.

Our first trip in the new camper was a full success!


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