Last weekend was a lot of fun.  Obviously the main attraction was the eclipse, but we did a lot of other things as well!

When I first learned about the eclipse about a year ago I decided a couple things… 1) I had to be there to see it, with my family in tow.  2) I didn’t want to spend the short moments of awesomeness messing with my camera, so I wasn’t even going to try and take fancy photographs. I just wanted to watch and enjoy it.  I figured there will be no shortage of people taking photos so I can just enjoy theirs! So my super cool family went up to Columbia for a fun weekend.

Because I didn’t take awesome photos of the eclipse itself, I’ll just share some photos from all the fun events leading up to the eclipse.


fun weekend-1One of my favorite things about this time of year… friday night football games!  Emma is my sports buddy.


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This was the first game at the new stadium in Carthage. We’re looking forward to watching many more games there over the coming years.


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Saturday morning was the Rivalry Run, a fundraiser 5k and fun run for Webb City and Carthage schools.  Mom and dad ran with us and then we spent the rest of the morning at our favorite saturday hang out, Mother Road Coffee before heading out of town for the eclipse!


fun weekend-4The Capitol in Jefferson City is such a rad building that we had to stop and check it out. After wandering around for awhile, we got some exceptionally good pizza across the street and then drove the rest of the way to Columbia. We were already seeing tons of out of state plates… mostly Texas and Minnesota but I also saw a lot of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and oddly enough quite a few from New York as well.


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Sunday morning we went to check out a few ideas for where we should watch the eclipse.  While we were out, I wanted to show the girls the giant Bur Oak tree. They had a lot of fun trying to climb it and hopping around the giant roots.


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Next, we headed up to Rock Bridge State Park.  This was Carter’s first time to ride in the baby backpack.  We originally bought this pack for Emma.  Seems like so long ago!


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We hiked down into the Devils Ice Box, a really cool cave with an underground stream.  It was pretty hot and humid outside, so the cool temperatures inside the cave felt really, really awesome!


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Little man enjoyed walking around under the Rock Bridge.


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After hiking, we found a Dairy Queen and had some ice cream.  Carter wanted to sit at the man table.


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Finally the day of the eclipse!  We knew it was the day when I opened the hotel window and saw people wearing NASA and Star Trek shirts outside setting up telescopes.


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We decided to head back to our picnic spot at Rock Bridge State Park to watch the eclipse.  I have really cool parents so they went around 6:30 am to claim a good spot. We weren’t sure what to expect for a crowd but it didn’t end up being too bad. Mom and dad talked with a physicist from Colorado who came to Missouri to watch the eclipse because it was going to be 20 seconds longer than at home. We spent the morning hanging out, playing some games, eating lunch. Dad and I took Carter for a hike on a nearby trail and then it was about time for the party to start.


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Carter was super excited to watch the eclipse from his pink baby cage. This was the early stages when the light was starting to get a little orange and dim, but not really strange yet.  As the sun started turning into a narrow crescent shape, the sky was getting dark to the west.  We all commented about feeling kind of “weird”.  I was surprised at how bright it was outside even with almost all of the sun completely covered up.


fun weekend-13All of a sudden the crescent disappeared to the sound of gasping, awes, and some applause from out in the darkness. We took off our glasses…what a sight!  It was kind of like a sunrise in every direction, rising to a very dark blue sky topped with a ring of the most brilliant white light imaginable. A few stars even came out for the occasion. It’s one of those things that is difficult to describe in any appropriate and meaningful way.  I snapped one photo, but otherwise just sat there and looked.

Most photos I see of a solar eclipse look black, with a white/orange ring. That is not that it looked like at all in person. The sky was a deep blue, with a brilliant white ring. Kind of the same color as a full moon, except brighter and more sparkly. Almost like a ring made of glowing diamonds. It was really cool.

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Then, after what seemed like only seconds, a bead of bright light emerged from the other side of the moon and it started returning to normal.  We packed up our stuff and started heading home, along with about a million other people.

So all in all it was a really fun weekend, capped with an eclipse.  I’m fortunate to have a wife and family that will make the trip and sit outside in the heat for hours to watch an event that only lasts 2 minutes!