For the longest time, I was content with just staying in Utah for the Great American Eclipse. I thought, “90 percent coverage is good enough for me!” so I didn’t make any plans to travel elsewhere to see the eclipse in totality.
Well about 3 weeks before the eclipse was going to make its nationwide appearance, my husband Sean decided that we should drive up to Idaho to experience the full thing. So I found a place for us to camp and made preparations for our trip.
The Sunday morning before we drove the three and a half hours up to Rexburg, Idaho. It was a quick ride and my daughter Marvel did great in her longest car ride of her life so far.
We had fun exploring the quaint little city and checking out the vendor village they had set up.
We camped in an unfinished yard between some older house and some townhomes. It wasn’t the most glamorous place to sleep but it was fine for the night. I was at least glad there was a portable potty for us to use!
The next morning we woke up early to break down camp and head over to the vendor village to experience the eclipse with others.
By the time we got there, the moon had already started to travel across the sun, so we quickly found a spot to sit and enjoy the spectacle using our Eclipse glasses I’d previously bought on Amazon.
As the moon covered more of the sun, shadows became fuzzy and the temperature of the air dropped. It was amazing how even halfway covered it was still bright outside.
But as it got closer to totality, the sky got darker and we knew it was almost time.
When you look at a solar eclipse, it’s detrimental that you wear proper eyewear for protection. But when totality happens, you can take off your eye protection to see the silver colored halo that happens only during totality.
The sky looked as if it was dusk time. All around the horizon, it looked like a 360-degree sunset. The first sign of totality is seeing the diamond ring. The diamond ring is where this little part of the sun shines out and causes it to look like there’s a diamond ring in the sky. It only lasts a second and if you blink you’ll miss it. Afterward is when you get to see the total eclipse of the sun!
Totality was unlike anything I’d ever seen. It’s one of those moments where it’s hard to find the right words to describe it. I’d seen pictures and videos before but nothing prepared me for the majesty that I saw happening before my very eyes! I can honestly say it made me cry.
It only lasted just over two minutes, but I wish it had lasted longer so I could soak it up more. It was an experience that we still talk about as a family. Even my daughter, who is two, talks about it!
They say that after experiencing a total eclipse, you get hooked and want to see one again. Those people are right. We won’t be able to travel to the next one, as it’s in Argentina, but we have plans to travel to Texas for the next one in America. That total eclipse will happen in 2024 and totality will be even longer!
After this life-changing event, we spent some more time in vendor village and got some food from the food trucks there.
We knew we needed to get on the road soon, so we walked back to our campground.
When we started driving, we didn’t think that traffic was too bad. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long as just outside of Idaho Falls, it became stop and go traffic.
We took back roads and made stops when we could at rest stops, but it still took about 5 hours to get to Pocatello from Rexburg, when it normally takes an hour. In Pocatello, we stopped for some food then made our way home on the last leg of our journey.
All in all, it took us about 10 hours to get home. It was a long drive, but the company was great. If I thought Marvel did great the day before, she did even better on this longer drive! When we finally made it home, we unpacked and went to sleep.
Even though the drive home was long, we would do it all over again.