One person’s eclipse story

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Staying in Asheville for the eclipse the day following the end of the seminar seemed like a good plan, but after the banquet on the last night there were many distressing stories.  Our plan–Jill and myself–was to leave our hotel after breakfast for the hotel in downtown Asheville where we would spend Monday evening.  Then we would wander through the shops during the day and ending at the designated eclipse park in downtown Asheville.  When we were leaving the banquet, we were told that downtown Asheville would be closed on Monday.  Now what.  We postponed any decision until Monday.  There was nothing on the internet about shops closing so we left before nine expecting lots of traffic.  There was very little.  We got to the hotel, parked, sat in the lobby with a cup of coffee and layed out our walking route before setting forth.  Almost all the shops were open but there was virtually no foot traffic in these stores.  It seems that most people were staying away from the area.  About one we walked towards the Pack Park where the downtown event was being held.  As we walked we saw more and more people headed in the same direction.  The park is small and had a number of families set up on blankets. There was music as well as activities going on for the youngsters.  We found a place across the street with trees for shade and a low wall for sitting where we waited and watched.  At that time there were some clouds in the sky but it was easy to see the moon “eating” the sun using our eclipse glasses–thanks to the library for supplying them.  As the time for the maximum coverage approached, larger and larger clouds appeared and we were concerned that we would not be able to see it.  Watching constantly was difficult because you needed to crane your neck.  One diligent woman kept us all posted and shouted out when the sun was visible!  The clouds broke open for about a five minute window with the maximum coverage right in the middle of the window!  As we waited the sky got dark enough for the street lights to come on.  The maximum darkness was similar to the time right after sunset in Asheville where the coverage was 99%.  It was a great experience and fun enjoying it with friendly strangers appreciating the same event.


 

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