We decided to head to the mountain to watch the Solar Eclipse on the 21st of August 2017
(eclipse2017.nasa.gov). The next one in North America will be on the 8th April 2024
The weather around the North Carolina coast been wet and humid all summer.
The totality path was close to the North Carolina Tennessee border.
Where we watched the total eclipse it was 97% totality.
We had friends drive to Charleston, South Carolina for 100% totality, but it was cloudy most
of the day. I was chatting with my friend Mark, he was planning on going to Montreal for the
2024 event. Normal temperature for April in Montreal is 5.6 degree Celsius or 42 degree Fahrenheit.
We camped out at the Pisgah National Forest bear sanctuary (Curtis Creek Campground).
Unfortunately, we did not see any bears. We did see wild turkeys and beavers.
My wife Michele was trooper for staying at primitive camp site in a bear sanctuary.
Curtis Creek Campground is nestled in the mountains at the base of the Blue Ridge.
It is less than an hour drive to the city of Asheville (26 miles).
It is located in the backcountry area around Mackey Mountain (a rich mountain hardwood forests
at an elevation of of 2,000 feet). It would had been a nice spot to see the eclipse. Our original
plans was to head to Mount Mitchell (16 miles away), because of the weather we decided to head to
Lake James 20 away and eastward. Lake James was at 97% totality, Asheville 99% totality.
On Sunday, we took a short drive to Catawba Falls. It was worth the 1.5 miles hike up the mountain.
We were waiting for my son Daniel to arrive after work in Raleigh. He got stuck in traffic. It seem to me
that the North Carolina DOT was doing construction every 50 miles. There were road construction outside
of Greensboro, outside on Winston-Salem, and again down to one lane around mile maker 173 in
Pottawatomie County. So what should take 3 hours actually took 4 1/2 hours. We were stuck in traffic
on Saturday in the areas. It took use over 7 hours to get there from New Bern (google maps 5 hours drive).
Over all we had good experience. It was weird when the eclipse happen. It didn’t get totally dark, but more
like an albeit dim, nothing like a sunset. We were just outside the path of totality, the Sun is still shining
in an albeit dimly. I did notice the glow around the horizon. The birds did stop chirping and it just felt eerie.
It got all quiet and just felt weird. We did notice a perceptible drop in the temperature.
Because we were not at 100% totality, we didn’t see the diamond ring around the sun.
My sons did asked what is a lunar eclipse. It occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth.
This can occur only when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned. Hence, a lunar eclipse can occur only
the night of a full Moon. Raymond thought a lunar eclipse is the same as a new Moon, but it isn’t.
A new Moon is a the phase of the moon when it is in conjunction with the sun and invisible from earth, or
shortly thereafter when it appears as a slender crescent.
The next lunar eclipse will happen on31 January 2018 and July 27 and 28 (https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/list.html).