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This past weekend our small home church opted to meet on Saturday night so that two of our families (the really crazy ones, of course) could travel up to Missouri on Sunday in order to be in the path of totality come The Monday of Epic Proportions:  August 21, 2017.


Snows and Scotts, an epic road trip field trip adventure

We enjoyed camping near the Lake of the Ozarks on Sunday evening and then traveled the rest of the way past Jefferson City to the viewing location our friends selected, which selection, by the way, yielded nearly two minutes and forty seconds of midday twilight.

Many of the photos in this post are from my husband’s and my cameras.  We were blessed, however, to meet and befriend a thirteen-year-old homeschooler named Tyler who came prepared with lots of information, two telescopes, and a nifty way of hooking up his cell phone to the telescope to take pictures.  He was generous to share his equipment–and his pictures–for our enjoyment.

I’ll step back now and let the pictures tell the story.


Sunrise at our Campsite.  “Hello sun, I’ll be watching you today.”


Quite a busy place for being out in the middle of nowhere!  States represented:  Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Idaho, and probably more…


First contact, bottom right.  Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering


This guy wins the award for longest pinhole viewer!  People were so kind to share their equipment.


Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering


Tyler’s telescope got a lot of attention from our posse.


Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering


Nathaniel’s cell phone managed to catch some reflections of the eclipse even though the sun itself is over-exposed in the sky.



Crescent shaped shadow holes through the leaves on the tarp we used for shade.  The color of the light at this point was quite different than usual–it was dimming and the contrast between light and shadow was much less than it had been.


Getting so close!!!  The excitement at this point was unreal!  We did get to see Bailey’s Beads and the Diamond Ring–they were beautiful!!!  Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering


Totality!  This is what my camera picked up with its limited zoom.


THIS is what Tyler got through his telescope!  Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering


This picture is a bit overexposed, but I was surprised that it didn’t get VERY dark.  It was more like 20-30 minutes after the sun goes down.  I was also surprised by just how quickly two and a half minutes can pass when you are completely mesmerized by the show God put on for you!

eclipse panorama

This panorama of our viewing spot gives a better feel for the amount of light we had during totality.  You can barely make out the white blanket we were sitting on.  Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering

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Just as quickly as it had come, it was over, and everything leading up to totality began to happen in reverse.  Photo credit:  Tyler J. Westering

2017 tjw eclipse timelapse 1

Here’s Tyler’s mash up of the whole process.



My boys’ “Baby” got in on the viewing action as we watched the moon move away from the sun.


The folks from Texas had some pretty serious gear!


We caught some of the light crescents…on me.


These self-described hippies brought sunflowers and made themselves crowns to wear.  They even made some for the kids!

Our family stayed for the whole three hours until the eclipse was over.  And we made sure to grab a photo with Tyler and his dad, who had made our experience so much more wonderful with their generosity and their fellowship!


They may have to come to Arkansas to join us for the next total eclipse traversing the United States in 2024!

Also, have you seen THIS????  Destin at Smarter Every Day is the one who really tipped us off to this solar eclipse adventure, and he and some buddies caught footage of the International Space Station moving in front of the sun during the eclipse!  Check it out!

How did you enjoy the eclipse?  Are you making plans for 2024?