total eclipse

I got so excited when I found out there was going to be an eclipse and that Utah was right in its path. I ordered some special eclipse glasses all the way back on May 3rd and then got more and more anxious as they failed to arrive. They finally showed up on Friday afternoon… just in time. They were kind of unwieldy things, so this evening I tied some elastic to the back. It made it much easier to keep them on, even if they did look a little dorky.

I really wanted to find an awesome spot to view the eclipse. I thought about driving out to the salt flats, but it’s kind of a long drive for the whole family (including a niece and nephew with early bedtimes), and it was more important to me to share the experience with my family. During dinner we decided to head up to the top of the Salt Lake Cemetery since it has such a great view of the valley.

It was so hard not to peak at the sun while driving. My mom and Claire kept oohing and ahhing about the eclipse, and I was worried I would miss it all on the way to the cemetery. I didn’t want to go blind, though, so I resisted until we found a spot. We found a nice little bench that read, “Off on a new adventure. God be with you till we meet again.” My mom and Claire took a seat and watched the eclipse while we waited for Matt, Izzy, and Liam to come.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the eclipse. I remember an eclipse back in junior high and we all got out of class and some teachers had pinhole boxes so that we could view the reflection of the eclipse. I guess I was imagining being able to actually see the eclipse with my naked eye. I thought it would be huge and fill the whole sky. But really, it was just super bright. The only time I could actually see the eclipse was through the eclipse shades. The sun was a reddish-orange and the moon silhouetted against it. We watched it go from looking like headphones over a man’s head to a perfect crescent.

Despite how bored Claire looks in these pictures, she said it was one of the coolest things she had ever seen. The hardest part of the experience was that it was impossible for me to capture the image with my camera. I know that others will produce (have already produced) amazing images of the ring of fire, but I couldn’t capture it. It’s something I will just have to hold in my memory. I often prefer to hold an actual photo. But at least I got images of the experience. It was so fun to see everyone out and about with their eclipse shades sitting on blankets in parks and churchyards and front yards. I loved that we were all experiencing it together. At the cemetery, a man and his daughter were walking around. They asked if we could actually see anything, so we loaned them our eclipse shades so they could see it for themselves. Without the shades, it just looked a little something like this.

Oh, how I wish I could show you what it looked like through my shielded eyes.

the salad days



  1. Suzanne · May 21, 2012

    I love the shades! I so wish I had known that they existed. It sure was a wonderful experience for the kids.

    • katie · May 22, 2012

      I loved the way you used the shadows to see the eclipse. I was planning on doing that, but I forgot. It really was amazing. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Kristy Campbell Jackson · May 25, 2012

    Kate, this is so awesome. I really wish I could have seen it. I had no idea there was an eclipse.

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