An Awesome Day

After months of anticipation, the Eclipse day finally arrived.  Knowing we needed to get up early, DH set the alarm for 6 am.  But, sleep was elusive due I think to a mixture of anticipation and dread.  I dreaded the heat and humidity, hours of what I thought would be boredom, uncertainty of the weather and the traffic going both ways.  On the other hand, it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience for us to see a total eclipse.  I remember some partial ones in childhood, and in my early adulthood, but not the full Monty! We were out of bed before the alarm went off, I had been awake since probably 5:15 am.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

We out the door by 7, meaning to get to our chosen destination of Table Rock Park on Hwy 11 in Pickens County, South Carolina. Going down the mountain was lovely, fog was settled between the mountains and the drive wasn’t bad at all with traffic.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

We were lucky to get to the park while there were still spaces to park. Shortly after we found a spot, I noticed that the cars had stopped coming in. We had made it inside before they cut off allowing more people in. It was still early enough that we decided to do the 1.9 mile hike around the lake. I said it was really 2 miles if you counted the walk from the car to the trailhead. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Limiting the number of people made a pleasant day, as it wasn’t crowded. There were plenty of people, but plenty of room.   Most everyone was setting up on a meadow next to the lake, where there was a small beach.  Others were up near the road, and others walked out of the park over to the other side of the hwy to the larger meadow near the visitor center.  We decided our smaller parking area in the Hemlock lot was just fine.  There was space at the car for us to set up chairs, and we had shade from the trees around the area.  Best of all, the area overhead looked like we’d have a good view, as long as the sun didn’t dip too low in the west.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The lake was smooth as glass.  But no breeze made for an oppressively hot day with very high humidity.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

A well marked trail led into the woods around the lake. Of course we used a lot of bug spray before setting out. I didn’t want to start a tick collection.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Weaving around the trees and lush foliage all in shades of green, we could get a peek at the lake here and there as we went around.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Table Rock Mountain came into view on the far side of the lake.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

There is a dam with a spillway tucked into the foliage. The grey brick was really pretty with the water flowing down.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Mushrooms were everywhere, not surprising in the humid climate.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

This section of the outbound creek just down from the spillway had an interesting rock formation.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

We made it around the lake, then went back to our car to sit in our chairs and read until the show began. We kept looking at the clouds, and wondering if we would get anything at all. The clouds were moving around, different levels in the atmosphere were going in different directions, and it was maddening to watch this and wait.  We spent the next 3 hours reading and talking.  We had the small parking lot to ourselves at this point, everyone else had gone elsewhere to watch the show.  So we moved into the middle of the parking area, set up the good camera and watched the sky.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The clouds gave us a tiny window right after 1 pm and we could see the first tiny bite of the moon’s shadow over the sun. Then it was covered up again.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

A few minutes later, another little window, and then it was gone.  I kept covering the camera with the white towel between runs of shooting the sun, hoping to keep the lens cool.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The cloud cover kept doing this for a while, until I was able to get this shot without the solar filter as the clouds were just thick enough to obscure the brightness, while allowing the shadow to be seen.  Interesting, isn’t it?  The clouds are showing up as grey shadows, while the blue sky area is white with the sun’s light.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Then our luck changed, and the clouds broke away completely, giving us an unobstructed view of the incredible celestial event.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

I took 91 pictures that day, but no I won’t bore you with all of them, LOL!!

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

I do not know why the camera picked up all this extra color dots and diamond shapes as the ‘diamond ring’ formation came.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

I think this is one of the Baily’s Beads (in the 10 o’clock position), light coming through the valleys on the surface of the moon just before totality.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Totality, in full view!

2017 Total Eclipse at From My Carolina Home

It is interesting to see the pictures, and how the corona changes. It is a constantly changing thing, although the changes are subtle between these pictures.  They look at first glance like they are the same, but there are very slight differences.

2017 Total Eclipse at From My Carolina Home

Amazing. The light changed completely during totality losing the yellow tones and going a weird bluish green like a strange twilight on another world. The woods got quiet (while the crowd around the corner cheered).

2017 Total Eclipse at From My Carolina Home

2017 Total Eclipse at From My Carolina Home

More Baily’s beads?

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

We stayed for most of the show, watching the sun re-emerge.

Eclipse 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The drive home took just over 2 hours, as we avoided the main road and went by the back roads up old 25, and through Flat Rock. We ordered a pizza on the way home and picked it up on the way. It was good to take a shower and just enjoy the rest of the evening, reflecting on the majesty of our universe.

If you have the solar eclipse glasses, don’t throw them away.  Recycle them by donating them to Astronomers Without Borders, who will redistribute them to children in Africa who are in the path of the 2019 eclipse.  You can mail your used, certified ISO glasses to:

Explore Scientific
621 Madison St.
Springdale, AR 72762

Did you see the Great American Eclipse? Or have you seen another one?



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56 thoughts on “An Awesome Day

  1. Thanks for sharing your pictures….I anxiously awaited the big day…only to have a complete cloud covering. I saw nothing in Cedar City. Very disappointed, so I’m enjoying it through others experience.

    Crystal in Cedar City

  2. Judy Ries, Birmingham, NJ

    Thank you far sharing, we in southern New Jersey didn’t get such a spectacular view of the eclipse although we did get a nice show here, too.

  3. How wonderful! Your trip sounded amazing to a great spot (even without an eclipse). And you got amazing photos! So happy for you. We got about 75% here and enjoyed it with our pinhole viewers. They were not selling many of the eclipse glasses in our area. Have a great day!

  4. Anna-Karin Larsson

    I remeber the 30 th of june 1954 in Sweden, and was 9 years old. We just used old windowglas sooted over a candle.
    No other protection against sun. I remeber the birds stopped singing. Thanks for the photos.

  5. deb devo

    I’m so glad you had a good viewing of the eclipse….you must have a fabulous camera to be able to get those pictures. Too bad we weren’t together as we had a nice breeze where we were!!

  6. lv2bquilting2

    Thanks so much for posting your beautiful photos. Are you going to compile a photo album to save them forever, so your family and friends are able to enjoy them as well? You definitely have a knack for taking all the pictures you share on your blog, so we may all enjoy them.

  7. Linda B

    Great pictures, Carole! I saved a couple of them, they are so beautiful. Did not see any better on the NOAA site! We were in the totality path here in St Louis…just amazing to experience. Our cat was not impressed, however. She slept through it on the deck. (:))

  8. karenfae

    we were lucky and had a perfect view 20 feet away from our backdoor – we didn’t quite have the full eclipse in our area though but in 2024 it will be right above our area.

  9. Nanc

    Carole thank you for sharing your eclipse experience! I love all of the photos you share and these were thrilling! Here in our part of MN all we had were thunderstorms and, if wewere to experience even partial darkness, it seemed to be normal weather. Donating the special glasses and providing the information is a great idea! Love your blog!

  10. Cheryl Buchanan

    Fantastic pictures and a great reward for all your efforts. Everyone here at my office had glasses, but it clouded up so much we couldn’t see it. I watched it live on the Internet while everyone stood outside hoping to get a glimpse. I did get a laugh about that. Perhaps I’ll make an effort to go somewhere else when the next one comes along. Enjoyed your telling of the event and the pictures were great.

  11. Outstanding photographs. What a once in a lifetime opportunity! We were too far north to see anything at all. Love your photos. I can’t imagine the bug and humidity battle. I bet a nice cool shower was the best part of the day after the eclipse!

  12. Oh my, your photos are terrific Carole! Really stunning, I am so glad the skies cooperated! We had an unusually gray day, I watched online. I definitely need to plan ahead for the next one!

  13. Helen G

    Wow Carole you did have the perfect spot!! Great pictures and thank you for sharing them with those who couldn’t see any of it……storm clouds here in south Georgia and north Florida. My daughter was near Waynesville but said the clouds played around and blocked most of it. But an interesting day to watch on the Weather Channel. Good to know all those glasses can be re-used for a good purpose. Thanks for letting people know that. Have a great day!

  14. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    I haven’t seen a total eclipse but my oldest son was born on the 20th of July 1963 and there was a small eclipse that day. I remember looking out the window of my hospital room and there was a look of early evening and it was only about 10:00 A.M. I remember my labor was long so I guess the pull of the sun was the cause for that. My youngest and I went out during this eclipse

    And when it was at its peak it looked like an early evening . We could fell the drop in the temperature and when it started to come back. The birds even were quiet, an interesting thing to witness.

    You certainly had a beautiful area to watch the event. I love the mountains so much and look forward to going perhaps in the fall. I remember my relatives talking about Table Rock since it isn’t that far from them, I probably have been there on one of our trips to the mountains. Your pictures were excellent to see, thank you for sharing the wonderful event with all of us that couldn’t see the real thing. Perhaps I will get to since it isn’t that many years off.

    Smile and have a wonderful day.


  15. How dramatic the eclipse was and what great photos you got of it! The photos of the area you visited are lovely, too. It is such a peaceful place that you captured. We had a great view, but certainly not as dramatic as the one you captured!

  16. Thanks for sharing photos from your awesome day! They are wonderful. I watchd the coverage on tv, but gee whiz it wasn’t quite the same :-(). They say in seven years we’ll have a better view up here in the northeast.

  17. lois92346

    Thanks for sharing those AMAZING photos! We had no noticeable change in our skies here in Southern California but my granddaughter lives in Portland, Oregon and I’m looking forward to her photos. It had to be an awe-inspiring couple of minutes in time and what a valuable lesson to children who witnessed the power of the solar system.

  18. Myrna

    What a wonderful day you had. Bigs thanks for posting the best pictures!!!!. I along with several other on our street enjoyed the experience. We got about 86% coverage, I felt the coolness and the silents of the birds, realize this only when the warmth and birds came alive again. As seniors along with a couple visiting grand daughters we all enjoyed the coffee and cookies and lots of chatter… That’s what life is about. Thanks again for posting your great pictures

  19. Although there had been clouds running around in the morning, we were mercifully free of them when the eclipse occurred. I loved your photos. I took one dud and concentrated on the live action.

  20. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    Love your photos and that was a great post. We had 92% coverage here and just stepped out our back door for the show. Both daughters in MO and KS and the son-in-law temporarily working in Oregon had 100% eclipse. We are expecting 100% eclipse in 2024 without stepping off our porch!! Living all over the US because of husband’s job, we have seen many partial eclipses and almost total over the last 40 or so years. Thanks again for great coverage of a current event!

  21. Lisa Marie

    Your photos are fabulous! We traveled to see the total eclipse in Western Kentucky and it was amazing. We also fit in a stop at Hancock’s of Paducah, so that was a great bonus.

  22. catsandroses

    Wow, what incredible pictures! Sounds like you & hubby had a fabulous plan, so glad the clouds cooperated for an awesome experience. We had 92% eclipse here, and we were really glad to have had the glasses for viewing. We just watched from our front porch. Was really an eerie look to the sky and interesting seeing the crescent shaped shadows, and was neat seeing how the temperature dropped by about 10 degrees, then went back up after the eclipse (though, fortunately, we don’t have to deal with humidity here in the Pacific NW!)

  23. Shirley

    Thank you for sharing your spectacular pictures. There was cloud cover in our part of Michigan, but great to watch anyway.

  24. Mary Jean Cunningham

    I’m so, so glad you got to see the eclipse and your photos were better than the ones I saw on the ABC live news show I watched that afternoon. All your planning and fretting over details worked out and sounds like a wonderful day after all, despite the humidity!

  25. What a great view you had Carole! I’m a North Carolina girl living in So. FL, but wishing I could have been in Carolina watching the eclipse. We had some clouds in the way here in Fort Lauderdale, but I was able to see it through the clouds. Your pictures are amazing! Thank you for sharing.

    Smashing Plates Tablescapes

  26. Sandra B

    Awesome pictures!! Here in Virginia we only had an 87% eclipse, so we didn’t have the spectacular show that you had…. We watched the television coverage and I thought the images shown from Jackson Hole were the best of the various locations being covered….watching the moon’s shadow grow over the mountains there was amazing…. It was great to see the reporters’ reactions as it unfolded, and to have the people become so quiet and then break out in cheering was just wonderful….Quite an event, huh? And predictions right down to the minute!
    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures!!

  27. So cool that you got to see it and had such a great view. I’m sure it was spectacular. I didn’t see much at all because a)it was pretty cloudy most of the time, b)I didn’t have eclipse glasses and by the time I made a pinhole camera it was over and c)we only got a partial eclipse here anyway. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  28. Rosemaryflower

    Oh Carole, your adventure and the photos were such a success! What a fun day. I was tossing the idea around of going to the border of Va and NC but that traffic on 81 is just so bad! – not the truckers, the car drivers.
    The park photos are just beautiful too.
    You always meet some of the most interesting people on the Interstates
    I am relieved you survived the humidity, bleh, Pizza and a shower was the perfect remedy

  29. Seeing the total eclipse from your eyes, is almost as good as being there. The whole day, from start to end, thank you SO much for sharing, a sight just once in our lifetime, the universe in all its magical wonder.

  30. Melanie

    Your photos are fantastic. We watched it on the national weather channel and got a great informational experience and an awesome view. Quite a spectacular event!

  31. Tfs! You really captured some awesome shots. As always, here in southern N.J., cloud coverage. Although some were able to get partial eclipses with their phones. Go figure.

  32. Awesome photos Carole. We got only a Partial Eclipse here in Alabama. I did manage to get one half-good photo. It is posted on my wordpress blog:

  33. Hi Carole,
    Beautiful location for the eclipse and fabulous pictures! We had similar cloud cover only it never lifted for me to be able to see anything. Oh well, I’ll try again in 2024. ~smile~ Roseanne

  34. thank you so much Carole for sharing your incredible photos and experience! We were in the 80% area and the change was minimal, I was disappointed as I really thought it would get semi dark for a few minutes, so I really appreciate getting to see it through you! Amazing photos!

  35. Thanks for taking us along on the “road trip” to see the eclipse. Great pictures. Here in Troy IL on my back deck, Mom & I had a pretty good show with about 95% totality. We also had cooling moments by stepping back into the A/C. Our clouds came in intermittently as the sun was reappearing so we saw quite the show also.

    I think ordering that pizza on the way back home was a terrific idea!!

  36. Such great photos, Carole – thanks for sharing! It looks like you had a wonderful eclipse day! We had 95% here in Northern Colorado, and it was just amazing! Such an interesting experience and I love that people all around our country are sharing it.

  37. Shay Moore

    Great shots of the eclipse! Isn’t Table Rock Park lovely! We also had a great view from my daughter’s home about 20 miles from there. *A proud upstate South Carolina gal*

  38. Kristi

    Your pictures are fantastic. My husband has been waiting for this eclipse since he saw the one in 79 as a kid. We spent 4 days in Oregon enjoying the small town we were in and then watched the eclipse with several others in the hotel parking lot. What an amazing transformative experience. Totally worth the time and effort to get there! Glad you had no problems and were able to enjoy your awesome adventure!

  39. Wow – your pictures are amazing! We had a partial here in NJ but I never got around to getting those eclipse glasses. We were at our family’s beach house and witnessed the sky getting darker. Then we watched all the live coverage on TV. Next time we are getting the glasses! Thanks for sharing at Take Me Away again! Always great to have you!

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