Eclipse 2024

 WHEW. What a day!

We've known about the eclipse for a while, of course. We planned to see it and asked family in Perryville if we could see it at their place. We didn't really hear back and then finally did, but we weren't sure if they were enthusiastic about it, or if we were putting them out so when we were invited to Bonne Terre by some friends we switched gears to that. 

The night before the eclipse, Gabe was doing some research and realized that Perryville was set to get about 4 minutes of totality vs the 20 seconds where our friends were. So we decided to go to family in Perryville. 

The morning of, Gabe and I had co-op. So I got up at my usual early time and started packing everything we'd nee. I had sandwiches, chips, grapes, drinks, trail mix, cookies, blankets, water, cups, toilet paper (you just never know) etc, etc, etc, all packed and ready to go. 

Just before leaving for co-op, Chelsea forwarded an article about fake eclipse glasses. We'd been hearing about that and every time we'd learn about some new detail we'd check our glasses and they were fine. Once again, Gabe did some research and found out that our glasses likely were NOT safe. Well, poo. 

Gabe and I rushed off to co-op while Ben got the cars ready and he and Chelsea drove around trying to find glasses - along with everyone else in our area. No such luck. 

Reports of the crazy traffic were piling in so Gabe and I wasted no time getting home after lessons. We packed up the cars and headed off. Ben and Gabe took the big car to Hillsboro to get Gabe's friends. I dropped off the little car at the church where we have our bulk food pick-up. Chelsea and the girls met A and I there and off we went. 

Oh, how we crawled. We decided to avoid the major highway as much as possible. Of course, lots of other people had the same idea so it still wasn't quick by any means. After an hour, we realized we weren't going to make it to Perryville. It's right off of the major highway and there was just no way. So we changed our plans and decided to head back toward Bonne Terre. MUCH better decision. In fact, we were able to get further down the road to right outside Farmington which offered 2 minutes of totality. 

Ben and Gabe were experiencing the same difficulties and weren't able to meet up with us. They pulled off in a hotel parking lot. Chelsea and I were aiming for a cemetery right outside town, but couldn't pull in due to a large truck pulling out, so we found ourselves settling for a rocky, dirt parking lot outside of an industrial building. 

The girls didn't care one bit! All 4 of them were tired of being in the car (2 hours!) and got out and ran and played. They ate their food and waited for totality. We only had about 15 minutes to spare. It was interesting seeing everything get dark and chilly. They oohed and aahed and before we knew it it was all over. We let them play for another few minutes and then had to get back on the road. Chelsea needed a nap before work and I had a food drop coming in early that evening so we had to get back.

It took us about 2 hours to get home. The girls all did great. They pretty well entertained each other and ate snacks the whole time. 

Chelsea dropped me off at church where some of the other members were arriving, too, and starting to set up for the drop. Perfect!

We pretty much collapsed at the end of the day. It had been exhausting. Karen and Don were able to make it to Perryville. Tim made it to the library in Bonne Terre. None of us got to see the eclipse with each other. Oh, well. It was still pretty amazing and I'd do it again in a maybe with more planning next time.


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