The Solar Eclipse: Part 1

By Mark Hopper


I shared in a previous article that my wife and I were on our way to see the Solar Eclipse.  We sensed the excitement and anticipation as we waited at airports for our flight.  There was a “buzz” in the air.

We flew to Des Moines, Iowa, and spent two days with a friend and visited an older family member.  The next day, we drove our rental car from Iowa south to our destination in St. Joseph , Missouri.  I had researched the path of the total eclipse on the internet.  It was going completely across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

St. Joseph, Missouri was directly in the path of the eclipse.  This small city on the Missouri River had prepared for this event for several years.  They opened up a huge piece of land next to the regional airport.  They sold camp sites and parking spaces preparing for 20,000 people.  They did a very good job preparing for this invasion of out-of-state visitors.

One of the things that no one could prepare for was the weather.  Most websites predicted clear skies in the western states but more possibilities of clouds and rain in the central and eastern parts of the country.  Weather predictions for our area looked good.  They had been having a very dry summer and the forecasts anticipated nice, clear skies.

However, it rained heavily the first two nights we were in Des Moines.  Thunder storms unleashed a total of three inches of rain.  Not a good omen.   When we left Des Moines at 4:00 AM on the day of the eclipse, it was raining heavily.  But as we drove further south things looked better. The rain stopped but when the sun came up around 6:00 AM it was still cloudy.

We left extra early because we anticipated heavy traffic on Interstate 35.  We were surprised that the traffic was unexpectedly light!  We got to St. Joseph in less than three hours.  Things went smoothly.  The city of St. Joe was ready for all of the solar visitors like us.  But, the clouds lingered overhead as we parked our car at 7:30 in the morning.                                                                                It was a festive atmosphere at the viewing site.  People set up tents and lawn shade pop ups to provide some relief from the summer sun.  We met people who had come from Minnesota to Texas.  It was a friendly crowd.  Food vendors sold all kinds of goodies and my wife insisted that we purchase a T-shirt for me to remember this special event.  The shirt had an image of the total eclipse on the front and a map of the path of the eclipse on the back.

We sat down on our borrowed lawn chairs and waited for the big event.  We had come a long way to witness this once in a lifetime phenomenon.  I’ll share more with you in my next article.

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM


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