While doing research on the internet for her science class, Sara found out that there was going to be a solar eclipse the following day. A solar eclipse is where the moon’s path is directly in between the earth and the sun, so from our perspective it looks like the moon is covering the sun.
From Amarillo we would have only seen a partial eclipse, but just a short drive away in Lubbock we would be able to see the full shadow. So of course we had to make a road trip! It didn’t matter that it was the middle of the week, and I had to go to work the next day. This was going to be worth it.
We contacted a few friends to see if anyone wanted to go with us, and three did so we piled into Sara’s tiny Honda Civic and drove two hours south to Lubbock. Upon arriving we ate dinner at Orlando’s, an awesome Italian restaurant, met up with a local friend and then went on the hunt for the perfect viewing location.
We found a pretty good spot on a random farm to market road in between some cotton fields. There were loads of other people outside, people were sitting in the back of pickup trucks, others in lawn chairs, and kids were running all over the place. It was almost like we all had met up at the drive in movie theater to watch a show rather than waiting for an eclipse.
We had our protective masks to look through so we didn’t burn our eyes and watched the phenomenon begin. We soon realized however that if we wanted to actually see the full eclipse we were going to have to move. Why? Because the place where the sun and moon were going to merge was covered by a cloud bank. We would have to go far enough that the cloud wasn’t in the way anymore.
We piled back into the car and hauled butt! I mean we did already drive two hours to see this, and we weren’t about to miss it because of some clouds! We made it far enough down the road with about 5 minutes to spare. It was INCREDIBLE.
It is not something that I am likely to forget for a long time. Seeing a full solar eclipse is actually extremely rare because you have to be in a relatively small location on the earth, within what is called the umbra.
We got lucky that the umbra was so close, and we were able to see this extraordinary event. And, to top it off, when Sara was teaching about eclipses a few weeks later she could use the pictures I took as examples!