Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

US Solar Eclipse 2017 – Bucket List Item

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Last year I wrote down my Bucket List. This is a list of 37 (for now) items that I want to do before I die. I’ve been able to mark a few things off since then, but I’m super excited about the one that I’ll be marking off this summer!  I’m taking a road trip to Tennessee with my son and his girlfriend to see the US Solar Eclipse! I’ve seen partials, but have yet to see a total Solar Eclipse and I am super stoked to be able to do it!

EDITED TO ADD: NASA says #14 Welding Lens are safe to use if you cannot find eclipse glasses!

bucket list

It’s about an 11-hour drive, not including stop times for restroom breaks. As I am laid off, I will be making sure that we have a budget friendly road trip! Drinks, snacks, meals will be put in a cooler. This way we don’t have to spend a whole lot at rest stops. Gas and maybe cups of ice for our drinks. I think our hotel has a refrigerator, so that will be helpful for our trip home as well! But, I won’t let that stop me from crossing another item off my bucket list!

US Solar Eclipse

Millions of people are going to be traveling the few days before the Eclipse. The roadways to these locations are going to be INSANE! There will be domestic and foreign travelers who want to see this amazing event! For myself, we will be traveling to Nashville, TN to see it. I’m happy to say that this vacation will be a 2 for 1 vacation. I will be able to FINALLY meet family I haven’t met yet on my dad’s side! When my dad died in 1998, I thought I was the end of the line. But, I started doing my genealogy research through and found family in four different states!

Another thing I’m doing this summer is the AncestryDNA. It’s on sale for $69 through 8/15/17. That price is VERY affordable. And who knows what other family members I will find. Even from the countries my ancestors came from of Ireland, Denmark, Norway, England, and Chile! So, that will be two items I’ll be checking off my bucket list, and I can’t wait!

The US Solar Eclipse will start in Oregon and travel diagonally to South Carolina. The main issue we will have to worry about? Cloud cover! We really need to hope like crazy that it is sunny out and no chance of rain. Fingers crossed!


US Solar EclipseIt will start at an Oregon beach at approximately 10:15 am Pacific Standard time on 8/21/17. Can you imagine that poor town? The excited solar eclipse people are going to swarm. Great for the economy, not so much for the town peoples sanity! Heads up. If you’re in Portland, OR, you will NOT be in the path of the total eclipse. You will need to head south for that!


US Solar EclipseIdaho is the next state to be hit with the total eclipse, at 11:33 am Mountain Time. If you are in the Boise area, people, you gots to head to the north for the total eclipse. Idaho Falls and Rexburg are in the path. Rexburg getting it better with a total of 2 minutes and 17 seconds, where Idaho Falls gets it for 1 minute and 49 seconds!


US Solar Eclipse

We now move on to the state I’d love to call my home state of Montana! However, the US Solar Eclipse is not favoring Montana this go around. Montana is a monster state ranking fourth largest in our country. It has approx 147,000 total square miles! But this solar eclipse? Will only touch eight of those miles! And to make it even worse news is that those eight miles are nowhere near civilization. So, only the trees and forest animals will experience this eclipse. Unless, of course, you are an adventurous type and are willing to hike it out from Route 15 in Lima. Which, I do NOT encourage.


Wyoming is next on this list! Yellowstone won’t be in the shadow unfortunately, but Grand Teton will get the full blast of it! At 11:35 am, this National Park will be in the shadow for a full 2 minutes and 20 seconds! Providing no cloud cover, Grand Teton is, without a doubt, one of the better spots to see the eclipse!


US Solar Eclipse

Nebraska will be hit with the eclipse pixie dust this time around. The US Solar Eclipse will be traveling pretty much right across the entire state. starting in the Northwest corner and diagonally to the Southeast corner. However, Omaha peeps, you are not in the total path. You will need to head south to see the total eclipse! The eclipse will arrive 11:48 Mountain Time in Scottsbluff. Right around North Platte and Tryon, the time zone changes to central time. North Platte will see the total eclipse starting around 12:54 pm central time. Falls City will usher the eclipse out shortly after 1 pm central time. The totality starts approximately 1:04 and will last 2 minutes and 37 seconds!


us solar eclipse

In the far Northeast corner is where you will see the total eclipse in Kansas. If you are anywhere else, you will only have a partial eclipse! Which, by the way, I want to take a moment to say, even if you are only seeing a partial eclipse? YOU STILL NEED TO WEAR SOLAR ECLIPSE GLASSES! Click HERE to order yours today. Unfortunately, if you’ve waited this long? The prices have been increased. It stinks, I know! But merchants tend to do that on events like this. Supply and demand and all that jazz.

Make sure you are careful though, with the glasses you wear. There are companies out there that are not selling NASA recommended and certified glasses. Side note: There is a special place in hell for companies that sell glasses for a solar eclipse to anyone, but especially for children that could damage their eyes. The main points from this article:

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
  • Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • Not use homemade filters
  • Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

So, let’s make sure to be smart people. As great as this experience is going to be? These are still your eyes you have to take care of. Speaking of this, I need to make sure and check mine tomorrow!


450 acres in the Southwest corner of Iowa is all that will see the shadow touching down on it. If you have options? Go to a better location. It will touch Iowa, but you blink and it’s gone.  Check out this post for more information on where the shadow will be for Montana and Iowa from Great images for the locations!


US Solar Eclipse

Kansas City and St. Louis! This eclipse just splits right down your middle. These two big cities will see a total eclipse, but only for a short period. It would be better to head north little ways from Kansas City and south a little ways from Missouri to bask a little longer in the shadow of the US Solar Eclipse crossing your fabulous state! St. Joseph is right in the center of it all and would be the perfect location to see it. The totality starts in St. Joseph at approximately 1:06 pm Central Time and finishes in Scott City with a totality start at 1:20 pm Central time.


Sorry Chicagoans!  If you want to see this eclipse in its total shadow, you’re going to have to travel south. Belleville is right on the outskirts of the full shadow, but Waterloo takes a direct hit at approximately 1:17 pm Central time and finishes in Marion at approximately 1:20 pm Central time with 2 minutes and 28 seconds of totality.


US Solar Eclipse

There are quite a few great spots to view the total solar eclipse in Kentucky! Paducah being one with a viewing time of 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Bowling Green is JUST in the path. For these residents, it’s suggested to either head down to Franklin for 2 minutes and 26 seconds, Hopkinsville for 2 minutes and 40 seconds or into Tennessee.


us solar eclipse

This is where we will be! We’re staying in Nashville, but think we will be heading to Lebanon area for that extra time in the shadow! Clarksville gets the introduction at 1:25 pm Central time for a nicely done 2 minutes and 17 seconds, then Springfield for 2 minutes and 36 seconds at 1:26 pm Central time. Nashville will get 1 minute and 57 seconds at 1:27 pm and Lebanon will get 2 minutes and 24 seconds at 1:28 pm Central time! I also have family in Smyrna and Murfreesboro who are on the outskirts of totality, but they will be in the full shadow too.

North Carolina

This is another state that only has a small portion touched by the shadow. But, it’s in the WESTERN SECTION of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park area! It will start at 2:34 pm Eastern time. (NOTE: TIME ZONE SWITCH!) You can see it in Murphy, also at 2:34 pm and Franklin at 2:35 pm Eastern time.


Georgia will be getting hit in the top Northeast corner. Sorry Atlanta!  Maybe if you all work together and get your companies to close for the afternoon? Clayton will see it starting at 2:35 pm Eastern time. And Black Rock National State park will get a whopping 2 minutes and 36 seconds!


Last, but certainly not least, the US Solar Eclipse will come to an end in South Carolina. Insert sad face here! The shadow will descend on the final state at 2:36 pm Eastern time. But, what an ending!  South Carolina is one of the lucky states that will have a good portion of the state bathed in darkness from the eclipse. Greenville will be in full shadow by 2:38 pm. Greenwood is next at 2:39 pm for a nice 2 minutes and 28 seconds. The final city to see the 2017 US Solar Eclipse is Charleston you lucky ducks! But, Charleston is on the southern edge of the eclipse and while they are in darkness, if the head further west, they will see it for a little bit longer!

Will you be in the path of the US Solar Eclipse? If not, are you traveling to the path to see it? The eclipse will be seen throughout the country, but only in its partial form. And if you have a bucket list like I do, this once in a lifetime even in our home turf is the best time to see it!

And DON’T FORGET! Make sure you wear your glasses!

If you were unable to get a hotel room for the US Solar Eclipse, will you still be traveling and sleeping in your car?  Or, are you an RVer and can bring your home right along with you? Share below in comments, or on my Facebook page what your plans are for this event!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase anything through these links, I may earn a small commission. For which I thank you in advance :).

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