The eclipse experience – final episode
Paris Mountain Park
We arrived in Greenville Sunday evening along with (judging from traffic) a million others. Thoughts kept me from sleep that night- weather, viewing area, camera settings, etc.
Monday morning after a very mediocre breakfast we headed out after first checking our eclipse viewing supplies were not forgotten.
We opted not to venture into the downtown area due to crowds and difficulty parking. I had the names of two parks that seemed like good viewing areas. We drove to the first one only to find it closed during the week. The second choice was Paris Mountain park, so we headed there. I love Paris so with that in mind it had to be good.
We arrived at the park at 9:00, paid an entry fee and went in. It turned out to be a great choice. It is a beautiful park, and they closed it at to traffic after awhile, so it was not at all crowded. We chose a spot to settle, in a pretty open meadow surrounded by trees.
The weather could not have been better, however, cooler would have been great. It was so hot. Sunscreen, bug spray, sweat and water – ugh! We brought chairs with us but didn’t think to bring an umbrella for shade., but then remembered the golf umbrella which was in the car so we used that. We had to take turns holding it, but it sure helped.
At 1:06 the eclipse started. The skies were clear and blue but suddenly there were clouds. Oh no! People were yelling “go away clouds” and happily and surprisingly the clouds dissipated and the skies were once again clear and beautiful.
The phases of the eclipse were something to behold but nothing could have prepared us for the beauty and awesomeness of totality and the diamond corona. Imagine the dark moon surrounded by a halo of diamonds sparking so bright with rays of light emanating outward. It took my breath away. The park erupted in cheers and yells. Thinking about it now still brings tears to my eyes.
So that was my eclipse experience. Looking ahead to 2024 and the next mainland solar eclipse.?
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