We’ve seen some beautiful landscapes, powerful waterfalls, and spectacular mountain ranges, but nothing will compare to seeing a total solar eclipse. If you weren’t in totality on August 21, there’s no way to truly explain it, but you should start making plans for 2024.
To be honest, at the start of our trip, we didn’t even know there was going to be a solar eclipse. I think it was a Facebook post back in July that caught our attention. Luckily, our route put us near the path of totality at the right time. As life sometimes goes, everything came together perfectly.
Let’s take it back a few months…
At one of our boondocking locations, we met a couple who has seen their fair share of solar eclipses. Considering we knew nothing, including the fact we need to solar glasses, we got the full download of what we needed to be prepared for.
- Solar eclipse glasses.
- Traffic in the path of totality – get there a few days early!
- Diamond ring – it happens fast, but you gotta yell diamond ring when it happens.
- The temperature drops fast.
- Look for stars.
- Pay attention to the birds and other animals – they fly back to roost and the owls start hooting.
- There’s no way to prepare for the experience – it’s awe-inspiring, freaky, beautiful, crazy, and specular all the same time.
- And most importantly, 99% of an eclipse is not 99% of the experience. Be in totality.
Originally, we decided to leave the RV near Yellowstone and drive to Jackson, WY early the morning of the eclipse, but the more we read, the more we realized it was going to be a zoo. It seemed a little too stressful.
So, I did some research and found a HipCamp host in the path of totality – think Airbnb for camping. It was going to be a solar eclipse partayyy on a farm! Cookout the night before, breakfast the morning of, and a group of strangers watching the eclipse together. We booked it and headed to Idaho on Sunday, the day before the eclipse.
There ended up being 40 or so people camping on this farm, and it was a blast… especially since we don’t get to hang out with people too often. #RVlife
On Sunday, we set up camp, met an awesome family who was there for the eclipse and went river floating with them. After our river float, we headed back to the farm for the most amazing cookout.
Elk, steak, corn, and baked potatoes (we were in Idaho). A beautiful setup. A campfire. And soon to be new friends – watching the eclipse together makes you friends forever.
Solar Eclipse: The Path of Totality
On Monday morning, our hosts fixed another ah-mazing meal. Nothing really beats coffee by a campfire. And then, the eclipse countdown was on.
Eclipse glasses on. We could start to see the moon blocking part of the sun. Over the next hour, we watched the moon cover more and more of the sun with noticing much of a difference in terms of daylight.
One of the other campers had a telescope set up with solar filters, so we could get a “close up” look of the sun – it was crazy.
Right as totality hit, you could feel the temperature drop and see the sky get dark. AND THEN… DIAMOND RING. It’s by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
During the two minutes of totality, the sun does this crazy looking thing. It looks like night time in the middle of the day. We could see planets and stars. The owls started hooting. The birds flew back to roost. It’s literally the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.
And then it was over. For the next hour or so, we would occasionally look at the sun (with our eclipse glasses on) to see the moon partially covering the sun. Our 40 new friends and us gushed of what we just experience. Oh, and Luke and I may have been the only people that didn’t cry during totality. But I totally understand how it could move you to tears – it’s that spectacular.
Once you experience one total solar eclipse, you want to see them all. So naturally, we all started making plans to meet up in 2024 for the next US solar eclipse.
2024 Solar Eclipse
On April 8, the path of totality will be from Texas to Maine. Certain parts of the path of totality will last for over 4 minutes. 4 minutes!
Can we get up with Chip and Joanna and start planning an eclipse party at the Silos? Anybody with me?!
If you can’t wait until 2024, you can go to Argentina on July 2, 2019, or check out one of these solar eclipse locations. Just make sure at some point in your life, you are in the path of totality. It’s one of the most amazing natural occurrences you’ll ever experience.
Huge thanks to Dillon for sharing your eclipse photos with us. We’ll see you in 2024!
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