The Great American 2017 Solar eclipse is over I thought it would be a great time to reflect on our experience. I’m glad that I’m the RV trip planner in the family and started my planning early. Since getting to the path of totality was only a few hours drive, I was determined to find the best view. We had two great choices; Nashville, TN or Greenville, SC. Both cities we have visited and enjoyed. And they both have great KOA campgrounds. I settled on Greenville, SC as our viewing city. It was smack in the middle of the 70-mile path of totality. We stayed at a great campground, The Traveler’s Rest KOA.
Greenville: Let’s explore the area
Since we had a few days before the eclipse, we had plenty of time to explore the surrounding area. I decided that I would take they boys to enjoy some of the great hiking in the area.
I sent the boys into the KOA office to get suggestions for hikes. The owner/staff was so helpful pointing out some great options.
We choose the hiking the trails at Wayside Park for our first day of hiking. This was a locally known park right off the main highway, very easily missed without the knowledge of what to look for.
We couldn’t miss exploring the Roper mountain science center. They had tremendous solar eclipse programs all weekend. The boys spent
what seemed like hours enjoying the building tables.
We even caught a special Solar Eclipse show in the planetarium.
The Solar Eclipse – Main Event
RVing has taught me not to be afraid to change the plan and pull off the road to check something out. Spending 45 minutes inching in traffic trying to get to the Science center I noticed a viewing party in the parking lot next to me. Stay in line or take a chance and check out the parking lot party? We took the risk and it paid off big time. We swung into the half full parking lot and joined the watch party!
After getting set up, we had plenty of time to practice with our glasses.
With the eclipse beginning, it appeared as if the Moon was taking a bite out of the Sun. As the eclipse progressed, the sky around us got darker, and the temperature began to drop. It began eerily quitter, as the birds stopped signing. We settled into our chairs to view the show, not wanting to miss a second.
There was a countdown for the beginning of totality. Totality is the only time when one can see the corona, the Sun’s atmosphere. As it began there was a huge roar and applause from the crowd. I didn’t even realize that I was cheering and yelling right along with the rest of the crowd. The kids and I took off our glasses to see this incredible cosmic site with our own eyes.
So did the total solar eclipse live up to the hype?
For my boys and me the answer is YES! They all repeatedly shouted, “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen”. For me a Father who has witnessed the birth of my five children, got drafted into in NFL, and married a woman who is the answer to my prayers…I was speechless. I felt connected like never before to the beautiful heavens. I’ve never felt so small and the heavens so vast. For me, I was blown away with the perfect handiwork of God. People talked about those moments of viewing totality being a spiritual experience; I agree. The two minutes plus we spent in the path of totality went by entirely to quickly. The Moon began to move from totality, we were told to put our glasses back on.
My final thoughts
As we left the site and made our way back to the campground I smiled as I overheard the boys saying “this is the best day ever” If you live in the US and missed this event, you’ll have to wait 7 more years, until to see a total solar eclipse from a location in the contiguous US. I implore you to make plans to see it first hand. I promise you will not be
One lastl takeaway – RVing has opened our lives to so many wonderful incredible experiences. I am 100% positive that if we had not taken up RVing, I would have settled to stay home and watch a partial eclipse. The RV industry sells us on making memories. This trip will stay will all of us as a top highlight for the rest of our lives!
Time to start planning for the next solar eclipse 2024. (Note: it’s already on our travel calendar)
Soulful RV Family