I Was in the Path of Totality! But Was it Worth the Trip?

a group of people under a tent

I drove 8 1/2 hours one way this weekend to watch the eclipse in North Carolina. Having never seen a total eclipse before, it was amazing. Magical even.

Experiencing increasingly cooler temperatures, the still bright yet increasingly dim sunshine and then breathtaking and almost sparkling sight of the moon completely overtaking the sun, I was ridiculously enthralled.

a group of people standing in front of a lake
15 minutes before totality, pleasantly cool and sunny
a group of people under a tent
A minute into totality, much darker than the camera depicts

We did get the night time conditions, though not the crickets chirping that others did.  Unfortunately neither my camera or my phone captured blog-worthy pictures of the actual eclipse, but that’s what NASA is for.

But was it worth it?

I’ve seen some amazing things in my travel and the eclipse definitely ranks in the top 10. But I had it easy — I was staying with family friends, so all I had to pay for was the gas to drive down. I left at 3AM in the morning and didn’t face any of the traffic others have reported. My friends live in a small town a ways from major highways so we didn’t compete with the hordes that crowded other cities. And because I was with people I love to spend time with, it wouldn’t have mattered as much if it was cloudy or rainy like Missouri.

Yet as awesome as it was, I don’t think I would have been nearly as satisfied if seeing the eclipse had required a lot of money or miles for flights, hotel rooms, and a rental car. For anyone planning to see the eclipse April 8, 2024 (which I might), I personally would recommend visiting somewhere in the path you’d want to go anyway.

But that’s just me, would love to hear others’ eclipse viewing adventures!

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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