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Earlier this week, mom and I boarded a plane to Atlanta, so we could drive to Nashville to watch the Great American Eclipse in Clarksville, Tennessee. Having never seen an eclipse, the last one was February 26, 1979, and the fact that August 21 is my mother’s birthday, we thought this would be the best way to celebrate!
Great American Road Trip to the Eclipse
There are a lot of perks of flying standby, mostly including flying for an incredibly low price. Some of the disadvantages are that if there is a special event going on, there is a super high chance I will not get to my final destination. As we watched the loads quickly fill, we decided that we needed to rent a Car from Atlanta and make an impromptu road trip.
On the Road to Nashville
Nashville was one of the bigger cities on the path of totality, but hotel prices were insane. We ended up using our IHG Card Free night stay at Holiday Inn Express Nashville Downtown Conf Ctr before packing up to complete the road trip to Clarksville, Tenn.
Deciding on Clarksville to visit for the Eclipse was easy because hotels were significantly cheaper, there were a couple of different places to watch the Eclipse. We stayed at Candlewood Suites Clarksville which was less than a mile from our viewing area at Old Glory Distillery Co. Candlewood Suites also gave us some super fun SunChips and MoonPies for the celebration.
Total Solar Eclipse
For weeks I had been talking about the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. I told all of my co-workers about this great phenomenon and how we were traveling to Tennessee to experience the path of totality. The first time I uttered the world totality – everyone went silent and looked at me like I had just made something up.
I went on to explain to everyone that my family decided we wanted to travel to Tennessee to experience the few minutes of darkness with a 360-degree sunset in the middle of the day.
During my three short days in Clarksville, I realized there isn’t too much to do in the immediate area. That didn’t bother us because we took a couple of road trips to Kentucky and the entire point of the trip was to see the eclipse.
After much research, we booked a VIP lawn space at Old Glory Distillery Co. Included in our VIP section was the ability to bring in chairs and coolers, glasses for everyone in the party, $1 off of each beverage purchased, a bottle of Moonshine, and one T-shirt.
This party was one of the best ways to view the 2 minutes and 18 seconds of totality.
Old Glory Distillery Co.
The Distillery is located right off of Exit 4, just a short hop over the interstate from Candlewood Suites Clarksville. Old Glory is a small batch artisan distillery that is currently producing Smooth Shine TN Moonshine, Tennessee Vodka, and Jumper’s Stash White Rum. There is currently a countdown for when their White Hat Whiskey will be available in December 2017.
The event had music, food trucks, cocktails, a large area with air conditioning, and a ton of people who were gathering to witness the same thing – Science History made in front of their eyes.
Experiencing the Eclipse
I am still at a loss for words when it comes to describing the event to someone who wasn’t there. Essentially, for almost three hours, people gathered in a field next to the distillery and randomly looked up at the sky with their solar eclipse glasses. We hung out, chatted, met your neighbors in their small plot of land and just enjoyed being outside on a Monday.
Only twice did we have a cloud block or view from the Sun. The first time it happened, everyone around me groaned and panicked. As soon as the cloud moved, we all cheered – and it wasn’t even close to totality.
Around 1 pm, the band stopped playing, the bar closed, and distillery tours ended so everyone could enjoy this phenomenon. For the last few minutes, the entire field is just looking up staring at the sky waiting for the moon to cover the sun so we can get a glimpse of the Corona.
I always knew how powerful, and strong the sun was, but it wasn’t until I felt the temperature drop (it was a steamy 95 degrees on eclipse day), the wind picked up, and the 360 sunsets that I realized how much force and power the sun has.
Once we reach totality, everyone immediately cheered and then became quiet. At first, I wasn’t going to try to take photos of totality, but something overcame me, and I just started snapping.
During the event, I met so many people from across the US and the world. I met a couple that drove down from Canada to witness the eclipse, a young man from Dallas (who told me every flight was over sold and the airlines were offering crazy expensive vouchers), and some people from California. I loved how science and travel brought everyone together at this small town distillery in the middle of Tennessee.
Total Solar Eclipse 2024
To remember this event, I sent myself a postcard with a postcard from Eclipseville and a special stamp from the US Post office. I am already planning where I will be on April 8, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse. Funnily enough, this eclipse is on my cousin’s birthday!
Did you watch the Eclipse? Are you planning on traveling in 2024 to witness the Eclipse? Comment Below!
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