Like a zillion other people on Monday, I wanted to see the total solar eclipse.  But unlike a lot of people, I lucked out!

I rode my bike all day Sunday to get to Charitan, Iowa because it was the only place within 100 miles of the path of totality that I could find a room.  And the little motel there was packed with people who were there for the eclipse.  

The problem was the weather.  You can only choose one place to be for the eclipse and you're kind of stuck with it.

Monday morning, I rode to Chillicothe, MO, the closest town with totality.  It was cloudy and rainy.  That kind of rain that just says, "There's no break.  I'm gonna rain all day."

So I sat in McDonald's until about ten minutes before totality then I went outside and looked up.

This is what I saw:

Okay, I could see the sun through the clouds!  I could look right at it and make out the fact that the moon was over the sun.

Then this happened:

Like some kind of act of God, a hole opened in the clouds and this hole was blowing right toward the sun, with about 3 minutes before totality!  This was going to happen!

Holy crap!  I was amazed.  I mean it was CLOUDY with all-day rain and no sign of letting up, much less, sunshine, but here it came!

Just before totality, it got dark so fast it was freaky.  Like going from noon to 9pm in a 20 seconds. I'd never seen anything like it, obviously.  This is at totality.

And then I lucked out and got this picture:

And then this one:

Wow.  Just wow.  I'd heard videos of past eclipses where you can hear people saying "Oh my god!" and I thought, "They're over-reacting.  I won't do that."  But I did.  I heard myself saying, "Oh my god" over and over because you just haven't ever seen anything like this.  There's NOTHING that compares to it.  Not only beautiful but SO, SO unusual!

Here's the crowd outside McDonald's at totality.  The horizon looks like the sun is setting but it was that way ALL around, everywhere you looked.  Just incredible.

A partial eclipse is cool.  But I hope you can see the next total eclipse in a few years.  It'll be totally worth whatever effort you make to be there!