On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America was treated to a solar eclipse. While most of HEI's staff observed the sight from the office, a few HEI employees traveled many miles to experience nature's most awe inspiring sight. Here are their stories.
Emmy Baskerville's Story
My mom and I road-tripped to Beatrice, Nebraska. We left bright and early on Monday morning and made it to our viewing location (which last-minute ended up being a gravel road next to a bison ranch, because the traffic was so crazy) right as the eclipse was beginning. We were nervous about clouds, but the weather held off just in time to see totality, which was amazing and crazy and totally worth the trip!
Donna Jacob's Story
For our first total eclipse adventure, my son, husband, and I headed to Nebraska. We stayed in the Old Market area of Omaha on Sunday, along with many other eclipse travelers. Evidently the restaurants in the area were not expecting so may visitors because I had to resort to Plan C on my menu selection. The next morning we escaped Omaha in a fierce thunderstorm and deluge hoping we could drive away from the clouds. The traffic on the freeway was much heavier than usual, and the traffic signs were advising motorists to use lights (and common sense?) during the eclipse. We heard later there had been several bad accidents closer to the city.
Our destination was the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island. We arrived with about two hours to spare, bought our eclipse glasses, and settled in for a great show. They had food trucks, music, NASA weather balloon releases (science!), lots of people to meet, and a clear sky at the important moment. The total eclipse was even better than I had expected–I've seen lots of photographs, but the experience of ambient darkness and seeing the solar flares with my own eyes was mind-blowing.
We took the scenic route back to Fargo and stayed at the Days Inn near the [HEI] office so I could get to work on time the next morning. Aside from a domestic disturbance across the hall and the police arriving at about 3:00 am, it was good night after a great day. Two days of driving for two minutes of eclipse experience was definitely worth it.
Photos from Staff
Chris Otterness observes the solar eclipse during a brief break from rain in Maple Grove, MN.
Chad Cass captured this photo while completing observation near Lake Upsilon in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota.